news

This was not how she thought schoolies would end.

Jasmine Baker ( Source: Facebook)

For seventeen-year-old Jasmine Baker schoolies was meant to be about celebrating the end of many years of hard work.

It was meant to be a week of friendships and laughter in the sun.

It was meant to be about partying, but also about being safe.

Nothing could have prepared her family for this.

On Friday night her holiday ended after the seventeen-year-old schoolie fell ill and was airlifted to Darwin.

She had been partying with her friends as seventeen year olds at schoolies do, and unknowingly drank a cocktail suspected to be spiked with methanol.

On ABC radio this morning her father Errol Baker said that Jasmine’s friends noticed she was acting strangely after drinking the cocktail and took her back to the hotel. They contacted the Australian organization Red Frogs, who help schoolies. They took her to the hospital.

Jasmine Baker being treated for methanol poisoning ( Source: Facebook)

The family of the dark haired high school student said she was poisoned at the popular Bounty Tavern Bar in Bali.

Jasmine Baker, from the NSW Central Coast was one of the lucky ones.

She remained in hospital yesterday and is understood to have returned home overnight.

Her Father told the ABC this morning and said that he had re-inforced the message to his daughter before she travelled to Bali only to drink alcohol from bottles. He said it was simply a matter of letting her guard down when she drank the cocktail.

Methanol is often added to drinks at bars and nightclubs in Indonesia so they can make their products go further, leading to an increased profit margin.

In May this year, a young British backpacker died after drinking poisonous methanol labeled as gin during her ‘holiday of a lifetime’.

Cheznye Emmons tragically died after drinking from a bottle labelled ‘gin’ that later turned out to be filled with deadly methanol

The Daily Mail reported that the twenty-three year beautician woke up unable to see was put in an induced coma. Doctors battled to save her from the effects of methanol poisoning – blindness, kidney damage and seizures but were unable and after five days switched off her life support.

Jasmine Baker’s family knew the danger she was in and took to Facebook to warn others and to pass on the condition of their daughter.

“PLEASE PASS ON TO ALL SCHOOLIES If any one knows any one or has friends in BALI here is a WARNING,” her father Errol Baker wrote on Friday night.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.”

Methanol is a poisonous liquid that is colourless and odourless, which makes it easy to disguise in drinks.

The ABC’s Health and Well Being web site describe its effects:

The earliest signs of methanol poisoning can be hard to distinguish from the normal effects of alcohol. You can develop mild symptoms similar to alcohol intoxication within an hour, along with nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

After 12 to 24 hours, the more significant symptoms can develop, such as headache, dizziness, vertigo and blurred vision.

“The bad thing is that it takes 12 to 24 hours, and often people have been solidly drunk and sleeping,” says Gordian Fulde.

Ignorance of the issue can also lead to misdiagnosis or critical delays in diagnosis.

If eye symptoms such as blurred vision or difficulty looking a bright light develop, then “they really are in trouble,” says Fulde. “That’s when they really need to do something.”

The family of Jasmine Baker flew to Darwin after the incident.

Jasmine’s mother Eileen posted a photo of her daughter in hospital and later wrote: “Jasmine is doing very well and we will be flying home Monday she has been one lucky girl. Thanks so much for all your messages to everyone concerned about what has happened Jasmine was poisoned but is doing well.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman said: “The Department is aware of reports of a young Australian medevac’d from Bali. Consular officials were not informed of her circumstances until after her return to Australia.”

In January the Foreign Affairs Department upgraded their travel advice to Indonesia warning Australians to be cautious when drinking spirits, particularly the popular liquor arak.

This followed a series of tragic deaths including Perth teenager Liam Davies who died after drinking with friends on New Years Day, what he thought was a vodka and lime on the Indonesian holiday island of Lombok.

Liam Davies died after drinking what he thought was vodka and lime on New Years Day

His parents started a campaign against the widespread use of methanol in alcoholic drinks in Indonesia.

They uncovered what they said was an ‘epidemic’ with some locals using methylated spirits and domestic cleaning products to spike drinks.

Yesterday Liam’s mother Lhani Davies posted a picture of Jasmine – the lucky one – and wrote a warning for all young people:

“Remember this is a poisoning issue not a age or drinking issue, only 30ml of methanol will kill. Methanol floats so you may get the shot with the lot!! and your mate just get a hang over from hell. DONT drink spirits in Indonesia and avoid the Bounty.”

To help Liam’s family raise awareness about the dangers of methanol visit their Facebook page.

00:00 / ???