Sama Biasa, Indonesian fishing boat (perahu)

Collection Highlights | Updated 6 years ago

The Sama Biasa vessel on display at the WA Maritime Museum
Sama Biasa
Image copyright of WA Museum

The Sama Biasa is one of two prahus (Indonesian Fishing Boat) which were arrested fishing in Australian waters in August 1980.

The Sama Biasa was intercepted at Gregory Island in the Buccaneer Archipelago. At the time it was camouflaged with mangrove branches. On board, the Fisheries Inspector found 40 kilograms of rice, 360 litres of water, 10 kilograms of dried fish, clam meat and squid, and approximately 250 kilograms of trochus shell.

The vessel was towed to Koolan Island pending a court hearing, and while at anchor it required regular pumping. The vessel was then donated to the Western Australian Museum, and was transported to Fremantle by the State Shipping Service.

The vessel's arrival caused considerable concern among Museum staff as it was clear that significant conservation work was required, and if it was refloated, it would have to be berthed at a commercial mooring.

Fortunately, Dr James Pang, then of the Conservation Laboratory of the Western Australian Museum conserved the vessel and it is now on display at the Maritime Museum in Fremantle.

Maritime history boats and watercraft Indian Ocean Gallery