Four out of the seven missing Japanese scuba drivers in Bali, Indonesia were found alive by search and rescue workers on Monday, three days after they disappeared while on a dive just east of the famous resort island. The whereabouts of the other three missing divers were still unknown at this time, as some of the relatives have flown to the island to await word about the fate of their loved ones.
Rescuers had a hard time continuing with their operations on Monday due to the heavy rain and strong winds in the morning. But at around 3:30pm, they were able to spot the four women some 300 meters off the coast of Nusa Penida. The local police chief said that they were taken to Sanur, a popular beach area in southern Bali. However they were still not able to release the names of the four who were rescued, and there has been no news yet about the other three. All seven divers were women who have extensive experience, having had at least 50 dives each.
Some of the relatives have flown in, anxiously waiting for any word. One of the missing women, dive instructor Shoko Takahashi, operates the Yellow Scuba, the company that took the tourists out on the dive. Her mother says that she has a “dependable personality” and would never have put her guests in jeopardy. Her husband, who helped set-up the Yellow Scuba, had also provided boats and staff to help with the search.
The dive boat’s skipper reported the women to be missing after an hour of searching for them when the divers failed to resurface at the agreed time. But the head of the search and rescue team said that they were informed that the skipper went to refuel the boat before going back to the agreed meeting spot. The owner of another diving operation, Briton John Chapman helped rescue officials by doing a simulation of the group’s dive. He said that while the current was “quite gentle,” the heavy rain and uneven water may have played a role in their disappearance.
[ via SCMP ]