Alcohol News: Schoolie Poisoned by Methanol
Another Australian youth has been poisoned while travelling abroad for schoolies celebrations. This time a teenage girl, Jasmine Baker has suffered methanol poisoning and had to be flown home to the central coast for treatment.
The 17 year old was lucky to escape death after drinking poisonous alcohol while on holiday in Bali. Days after the poisoning the young girl was still showing signs of poisoning and vomiting.
There have numerous warnings issued to travellers especially young people travelling to countries like Thailand and Indonesia about the risk of toxic, illegally brewed alcohol, yet many young Australians are still falling victim to this poisonous brew.
The following excerpt from an article on Smh.com.au explains more about the incident
‘‘Jasmine is doing very well and we will be flying home Monday she has been one lucky girl,’’ Mrs Baker posted online.
Fellow schoolie and friend Julie Ashby said she believed Jasmine was poisoned from drinking ‘‘jungle juices’’ at Bounty, a bar and nightclub in Kuta.
Jasmine’s father, Errol, posted a message on Facebook to all schoolies in Bali saying: “PLEASE PASS ON TO ALL SCHOOLIES.
“If any one knows any one or has friends in BALI here is a WARNING.
“Drinks spiked with methanol served at the Bounty LAST NIGHT and two other smaller bars close by.
“If you feel sick and your eye sight becomes fuzzy or blurred seek medical attention. BETTER STILL IF ITS NOT IN A BOTTLE OR CAN DON’T DRINK IT.”
It is not known whether any other people were poisoned by the brew but Bali’s main hospital said they didn’t get any other patients admitted with methanol poisoning in the last week.
This incident is a reminder of what happened to young Aussie Liam Davies on New Year’s Eve 2012. Davies was just 19 years old when he was killed after drinking methanol laced alcohol at a pub on an island off Lombok, Indonesia.
Davies was just one of the many tourists who have died from methanol laced alcohol in Indonesia. Methanol, a by-product of cheap, home-made brews of alcohol is poisonous to humans. It is very often fatal, which is why Jasmine is so lucky to be alive.
Drinkers on holiday need to be aware that cheap, locally brewed spirits (most are usually arak, made from coconut syrup) are blended into cocktails and can contain methanol, without you even tasting it. The body cannot absorb methanol and poisoning can lead to brain damage, blindness and death as it has in so many travellers including Liam Davies.
The manager of the club where Jasmine was drinking has defended the club’s reputation and assured the public that all drinks served there are legal.
The article on Smh.com.au went on to explain:
Bounty is one of the largest and most popular nightclubs in Kuta.
The club’s operations supervisor, Dewa Mustika, said: “All our drinks are legal.
“The health department and customs regularly check us. We have recently been awarded top 10 for safety and service in Bali and we never use anything illegal.”
Mr Dewa said that if the club had put anything harmful into their drinks, then more than 2000 customers from the night in question may have been injured.
“We’ve been the scapegoat for several incidents, but it’s not us,” Mr Dewa said. “Many of our customers eat or drink something before coming to our place.’’