Warning over toxic Bali brews

The devastated family of a Perth teenager fighting for his life after being poisoned on an Indonesian island have warned others not to consume locally brewed drinks.

Liam Davies, 19, became ill after unknowingly having a drink containing methanol while celebrating New Year's Eve with mates at a bar on Lombok, near Bali.

Family and friends rushed him to an Indonesian hospital when he became sick the next day and, after his parents consulted Australian doctors, a decision was made to fly him home for treatment.

The 19-year-old arrived at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital early on Thursday and was last night in a critical condition in intensive care with his parents and two younger brothers at his bedside.

Mr Davies' family yesterday released a statement confirming he had been diagnosed with methanol poisoning.

"We would like to make people aware of the risks associated with consuming locally brewed drinks where you cannot be certain of the quality," they said.

They did not reveal which bar he had been in or what he had been drinking.

Mr Davies' family said friends and other relatives had gathered at the hospital to support them and their son.

"We would like to thank Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital for the specialist care he is receiving and the quality of support offered by the staff there," they said.

"Liam is a fun-loving and active 19-year-old, who has represented his country in lacrosse and has dreams of travelling abroad to see the world."

Mr Davies represented Australia at the 2008 under-19 World Lacrosse Championships.

The teenage roof carpenter is not the first tourist poisoned by a tainted drink on popular Indonesian holiday islands.

Sydney nurse Jamie Johnston, 25, suffered brain damage and kidney failure from a methanol-laced jug of arak, a Balinese rice wine, at the Happy Cafe restaurant on Lombok in September 2011.

Three days later, Perth rugby player Michael Denton, 29, died in Sanglah Hospital, Bali, of methanol poisoning after drinking an arak cocktail.

In June, Swedish 28-year-old Johan Lundin died after drinking a mojito at a popular bar on Gili Trawangan island, near Lombok. His fiancee Michaela Pechac said the drink was laced with methanol.

In September, Ms Pechac set up a Facebook page titled "A drink to die from" to warn travellers of the dangers.

Other Australians have added their horror stories on the site about being poisoned from tainted alcoholic drinks in Indonesia.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs advised travellers to go to reputable bars, watch staff make their drinks and stay with friends so if one became ill, others could get help.

The spokesman also advised getting travel insurance, revealing two-thirds of Australians who travelled overseas did not have it.

He urged people to report suspected drink spiking to the department.

The West Australian

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