Travel: emission-free dive boats at RajaAmpat, Indonesia

Travel: emission-free dive boats at RajaAmpat, Indonesia

Scuba divers and snorkelers staying at the MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge can enjoy a more eco-friendly visit to the green deeps thanks to dive boats that fitted with electric outboards

By Hari Alexander
Over ocean bungalows at MahaRaja resort in Indonesia

Electric boats are the most eco-friendly way to explore Indonesia's Raja Ampat, one of the most beautiful yet ecologically fragile locations in the world. Pictured above: over ocean lodges at the MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge, which has converted its dive boats to run on electric outboards made by Torqeedo

RajaAmpat is a popular destination for scuba divers and snorkelers thanks to its rich marine life that includes more than 1,300 species of fish and 75 per cent of all the hard-coral species on the planet. But protecting the coral reefs from the ravages of climate change and pollution while maintaining public access is a difficult job and the Indonesian authorities take the need to balance the two very seriously.
 
Fossil fuel-powered dive boats, tour boats and cruise ships take divers and snorkellers out to the reefs but their emissions are damaging the environment. So one resort, the MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge, which opened last year, has decided to use electric outboards on its dive boats, which means it can ferry holidaymakers about on the water without generating any emissions.
 
The electric outboards are made by German company Torqeedo and MahaRaja founder Mahasti Motazedi says another benefit is not having the noise and smell of combusion engines. 'We hope this will be the first step for a cleaner andvmore eco-friendly diving all over RajaAmpat and indeed the rest of the world where tourist boats are heavily used.'
 
 
The dive team with their electric outboard motor
The MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge - keep it emissions free
Mahasti Motazedi, the founder of MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge, explains "We are nature lovers. As professional divers, we know how unique and fragile our undersea world is and we’re passionate about its protection. Converting our dive boats to Torqeedo electric outboards has proven that divers prefer an environmentally friendly experience that won’t harm the reef and without the noise and smell of combustion engines. We hope that this will be the first step for cleaner and more eco-friendly diving all over Raja Ampat and the rest of the world." 
 
MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge has transformed two traditional Papuan long boats into electric dive boats. The first boat is a 22-metre long boat equipped with a Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 engine and lithium-ion batteries. The boat has a range of up to 20 kilometres with one charge, which is more than enough to transport 12 divers to and from the dive sites. The second boat is an 8-metre long boat equipped with a Torqeedo Travel 1003 and is used for up to six passengers on trips of 10 km or less. 
 
The next step is to share the electric motors with the local Papuan villages to allow them to travel in a way that’s healthier for them and for the environment.
 
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