COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.

Japanese diver found dead off Bali after 5 rescued; 1 still missing


The body of a Japanese scuba diver was found floating near a beach on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Tuesday, a day after the astonishing rescue of five others in the group.

The diver, almost unrecognisable after days in the water, was one of seven women who disappeared Friday after setting out on a diving expedition from Nusa Lembongan, just east of Bali.

As days passed hopes faded that any of the women would be found alive in an area known for its stunning underwater beauty but also its strong and unpredictable currents.

But fishermen found five of the women clinging to a coral reef in rough waters on Monday, some 20 kilometers from where they set off, and rescuers plucked them to safety in a helicopter and lifeboat.

The news was greeted with delight in Japan. Hopes rose earlier Tuesday the remaining two were also alive after villagers said they thought they had spotted them in the area where the others were rescued.

But searches of the area turned up nothing and officials revealed in the evening that members of the public had found the body floating near Serangan beach, a popular surfing spot in south Bali.

"We are convinced that the body belongs to one of the two missing Japanese divers, based on the diver's characteristics," Bali search and rescue chief Didi Hamzar told AFP.

"It is difficult to recognise the victim and she has lost some hair," he said, adding she was still wearing a wetsuit and flippers.

He said the body had been taken to a hospital in the Balinese capital Denpasar for an autopsy. He did not have any news on the seventh diver.

Earlier in the day a helicopter and rescue boats had scoured the area around Manta Point, off Nusa Penida island, where the other divers were rescued. Penida is next to Nusa Lembongan.

Police had said they believed the remaining two divers were in the area and alive after villagers reported seeing two people on a coral reef sending distress signals by shining lights late Monday.

The five women who have been rescued are all in hospital in Bali. They have suffered dehydration and sunburn but none are in a serious condition, doctors said.

"We caused many people so much worry over this case," one of the divers, Saori Furukawa, wrote in a note handed to Japanese media from her hospital bed.

A doctor at the Denpasar hospital, where the other four women are being treated, said they had survived by drinking rainwater. Heavy downpours are common at this time of year.

"For three days they drink rain, only drink, no food," said doctor A.A. Ngurah Jaya Kusuma. "Their medical condition is good."

An AFP reporter at the hospital saw one of the women walking down a corridor with burns on her face and a drip in one of her arms.

The women at first floated together in a group and were swept along by bad weather, strong currents and high waves, rescue official Wayan Suyatna told local radio.

They became separated when some of the group attempted to swim towards a passing tugboat, he added.

The news that the five had been rescued was splashed across the front page of major newspapers in Japan, many carrying images of one rescued woman lying on a stretcher. TV news also supplied regular coverage of the dramatic scene.

© (c) 2014 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Oh dear - especially when hopes were twice raised recently , to have them dashed like this. Terrible.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So sad. I hope the one other person can still be found alive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tragic. I hope they find the other one alive. RIP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why did her hair fall out?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why did her hair fall out?

The body deteriorates because of death and water softens the skin and follicles, thus the hair falls out, perhaps assisted by curious fish.

RIP to her and let's hope the other one turns up safe.

1 ( +2 / -1 )


-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is so sad we had good news and now bad news, there's still one more lady out there lets hope she is found regardless dead or alive. RIP to the deceased young lady!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@kaimycahl RIP to the deceased young lady!

She was 59.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As a travel lover myself, it is these type of stories that really hit me hard when tourists are killed abroad. I am really sorry for the family of the diver.

The villagers saw a distress single, why didn't they do anything? I didn't see enough detail about this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My sincere condolences to family of the deceased. May you REST IN PEACE. I hope the other lady will be found soon. She must be very frightened being alone at sea for the last few days and nights. I hope there will be an investigation into the incident. Somehow, I feel that the skipper of the dive boat didn't tell the whole true. I was an experienced diver (my last dives were 10 years ago due to family commitment). For average divers, the diving time should be around 1 hour or less, three times per day. All the divers here were able to surface and stayed together. It means that the boat was not around when they were up. The skipper claimed that he went away to refuel but the diving sites are normally far away from land (I have not dived in Bali so I do not know if this is true). I wonder where he could have gone and come back within the hour. Worst, he might have left and come back to a wrong place. I believe that the lady divers didn't do anything wrong except that they didn't bring some emergency tools to help them being visible in the middle of nowhere.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

RIP: BTW, Japanese ladies live long. 59 is young. RIP. Sad sad news.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Educator60 59 is still young in my book! Are you a PED?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow, Serangan is a pretty long way from where they went missing, and a long way from where the others were found. There is a lot of boat traffic through that channel, so she must have been very unlucky.

Vary sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very sad. I think the boat skipper has a lot of responsibility here; he shouldn't be leaving the site with divers down. He could have gone to get fuel not THAT far from the site, but given the length of dives he shouldn't have left. I read somewhere that the dive shop hired the boat for use, which implies that even if he did have experience with divers he wasn't the shop's own employee and probably didn't have the same safety consciousness.

Also, I know the site and they probably shouldn't have been diving there under those conditions. The currents are tricky enough even in good weather. But not every dive master/dive shop is brave enough to give up on a site especially if guests insist. The shop I use in Bali makes very clear that site selection is tentative until we're actually out there and can judge the conditions, and they've abandoned diving at even the most coveted site a few times due to strong currents. And Bali currents can be VERY strong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

yes so sad, it really hit home with me as I dove that same area on Thursday and think they went missing on Friday, it is a tricky place to dive as the currents can carry you a long way from where you put in, travelling 1km is easily possible, and even the experienced dive masters, say it is hard to predict just way the currents are running. A lot of trust is put in the boat captain and crew to be nearby when you surface. I wonder if with modern technology it might be possible to invent and market a location beacon for divers, along the lines of the location beacons that back country winter adventurers use to find them if they are buried by an avalanche, my sympathies to all involved with this accident.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i'm indonesian and i really sad to hear that

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The surviving Japanese divemaster has issued a statement saying that the weather and currents were all fine when they went in but that by the time they came up everything had changed and they were caught in a current "like a washing machine." She said she heard a boat engine but then seems to gloss over whether the captain took off too soon or not and just says the visibility was terrible due to a squall. The divers clung together and tied their BCDs together and floated for most of the night, then she tried to swim for a tugboat to seek rescue and got separated. Sounds like bad luck on top of a boat screwup. Impressive endurance by the survivors.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites