View Comments
Bar still serving methanol  drinks
The West Australian Sample surprise: The results of the tests on drinks bought at Rudy's Pub. Picture: Steve Pennells/ The West Asutralian

The bar that allegedly served Perth teenager Liam Davies the methanol-laced drink that killed him is still selling potentially deadly cocktails to oblivious Australian tourists.

An investigation by The West Australian has found that as recently as two days ago, Rudy's Pub served poisonous vodka-based drinks laced with methanol.

The popular bar on the Indonesian holiday island of Gili Trawangan, north of Lombok, was named by friends of Mr Davies as the place where he bought his fatal drink on New Year's Eve.

The allegations have been backed up separately by a Canadian tourist who was poisoned the same night and had urgent treatment in a Bali hospital for severe methanol poisoning.

Despite the claims, no investigation has been launched into Mr Davies' death, no bar staff have been interviewed and no attempt has been made to test the drinks that are still being served to tourists.

The West Australian travelled to Gili Trawangan this week and took two drink samples on Wednesday from Rudy's Pub.

The first was a long island iced tea-style cocktail called Gili Island. The second was a 300ml vodka-Sprite mix similar to the one that is believed to have killed Mr Davies.

The samples were tested in a private clinical laboratory in Denpasar yesterday. The Gili Island cocktail showed no trace of methanol but the vodka mix - which was meant to contain only vodka, Sprite and ice water - registered a methanol level of 0.02 per cent.

The 300ml drink contained a 30ml shot of vodka diluted by 270ml of sprite and ice water, which would put the actual methanol content of the vodka at around 0.2 percent.

The drinks that killed Mr Davies and poisoned Miss Jay would almost certainly have had a higher level of methanol.

But various health agencies such as Britain's Food Standards Agency have stated that levels of methanol in vodka higher than 0.05 percent -- a quarter of this -- are not safe.

The drink was poured from a labelled bottle of vodka from behind the bar. The results show that more than a week after Mr Davies was poisoned and three days after he died, the bar which has been accused of supplying the lethal drink was selling drinks with methanol levels considered dangerous.

Mr Davies, a popular 19-year-old roof carpenter from Marmion, was holidaying with friends in Lombok over New Year when he is believed to have unwittingly drunk a vodka-lime mix laced with methanol.

Night action at Rudy's bar. Picture: Steve Pennells/The West Australian

He became violently ill late on New Year's Day and was rushed to a Lombok hospital where he had a seizure and lost consciousness.

After being airlifted back to Perth, he died at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital on Sunday when his family made the heartbreaking decision to turn off his life support.

Canadian student Rosalind Jay, who befriended Mr Davies on the island and celebrated New Year's Eve with him, blamed the vodka-lime drinks that she and Mr Davies had been drinking that night.

She said the vodka-based mix was the only alcohol other than Bintang beer that she drank while on the island.

The 18-year-old also became violently ill the next day, began to lose her eyesight and was rushed to the Bali International Medical Centre where she began immediate treatment for methanol poisoning. She said she was lucky to be alive.

The effects of methanol poisoning can range from vomiting, headaches and gastric pain to comas, liver failure and, in some cases, death.

Blindness is also common. It can last for a few hours or be permanent.

Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr said this week that he had ordered diplomats in Indonesia to meet local police and push for urgent action against liquor bootleggers.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has had to defend itself against criticism that it failed to inform Lombok police about Mr Davies' death or push for the bar to be closed while an investigation took place.