Still hearing mixed messages about whether they have found 5 or 7. Any updates?
Fantastically good news!
A CLEAR CONSCIENCE IS USUALLY THE SIGN OF A BAD MEMORY
Still hearing mixed messages about whether they have found 5 or 7. Any updates?
Apparently they are still missing 2 divers. The link I saw that said all were found (from Japan) has been revised. I've seen a narrative from someone in Bali writing to a friend in the UK, in somewhat fractured English, but it seems to tell the story that the group aborted the dive and ascended together when they realized the currents had pushed them farther than intended. There was in fact some kind of strong, sudden squall, perhaps around the time they surfaced, which probably made it impossible to see their boat or be seen by it, if they weren't already swept too far from it, that is. The group drifted with the currents together. And at some point they realized one person was missing. On Saturday they drifted close enough to land to try to get ashore. Four made it, 2 got washed away from them in the 3 meter-high waves. Eventually the 4 were found in one spot on the rocks, and one of the other 2 was found on the rocks some distance away. This is all un verified, but sounds like it's coming from one of the searchers/rescuers.
These two articles indicate they have indeed found the remaining 2 divers, alive but in an area that makes rescue complicated. If so, this is unbelievable that all 7 made it.
Edit: and yet - http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/...oast-official/
This and some others indicate that one was found dead. So, still lots of conflicting information coming out of the area. Comments on another forum from someone in Bali confirm this last account.
Last edited by suzbo; 02-18-2014 at 09:27 AM.
Here's photos of the body bag --> http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...89902444045062
A first hand account from one of the survivors (published earlier in Japanese) has been translated into English. I hope a serious search is continuing for Shoko Takahashi, the last missing. That so many of the divers were able to survive 3 full days is a testament to their skills. NS
Diver describes Bali survival ordeal - The Japan News
Diver describes Bali survival ordeal
8:40 pm, February 19, 2014
Makiko Yanada / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer
Saori Furukawa, a 37-year-old Japanese diving instructor in Bali, Indonesia, who was rescued Monday after having drifted out to sea off the island, provided on Tuesday written answers to reporters about how her group of divers went missing and how she was found.
The following are the contents of her account.
We began our dive shortly after noon on Friday. At the time, there were no problems with the health conditions of members, or the water and sea conditions. The currents were calm and the weather was fine.
However, when we resurfaced on the sea [after diving] the weather had drastically changed. Strong winds brought rough waves and torrential rain reduced visibility. When I heard the sounds of a boat engine, I blew a whistle for help.
[Having lost sight of the boat], we tried to evacuate to shallow water, but the surface of the sea began churning like water in a washing machine.
All members gathered together and held hands, tanks or BCDs (buoyancy control devices), and we began whirling around. When we got out of the rotating current and somewhat recovered our visibility, which had been worsened by rain, we were able to figure out the direction and our location.
As we drifted out to sea, we were able to grasp our approximate positions because we could see the landscapes of Bali Island and Nusa Lembongan Island during the daytime.
After sunset, we knew our positions based on the flight routes of planes, lights from islands and our compasses. Sometimes we tried to swim to an island when we came close, but it was difficult as the sea currents were complicated. To preserve our physical strength, we occasionally gathered closely and stopped moving around. When there were currents heading for islands, we swam, even if only moderately. None of us panicked and all participants were stable.
At night, a large ship appeared in the distance, and we all made signals for rescue with our lights. When one of us appeared to be losing consciousness, we awakened and encouraged each other. When a coconut drifted to us, we drank the milk from it. Until the following morning, we held hands and linked our equipment so none of us would become separated.
On Saturday morning, a tugboat made a close approach, and I decided to swim toward it. However, this was difficult. I tried to approach it by kicking the water with my fins, but I could not catch up, partly due to the currents. Although I tried to return to the other members, the currents I was in were different from the ones where the other members were. I kicked repeatedly, but I could not make it back, and we became farther and farther separated.
Shortly before early Saturday evening, I swam for hours and approached a rocky stretch near a cliff of Nusa Penida Island. First, I abandoned my tank and drifted over to an area where my feet could touch the bottom, thanks partly to large waves. I also got rid of my BCD while I was being tossed about by the waves.
The area I was in had many large rocks, and the waves deprived me of my swimming fins. I desperately wanted to reach an inhabited place to seek rescue, but instead what was in front of me were massive waves and a sea of powerful currents, and behind me a cliff. I couldn’t do anything, as I had no physical energy left.
That evening, thanks to a thundershower, I was able to collect rainwater, and sipped drops off dead leaves. Among the items that washed ashore were plastic bottles with drinkable fluid in them. As there was foam polystyrene among the trash, I could cover my body with the items, taking refuge behind a rock. I made sure not to get wet in the rain to keep myself warm.
As I lay down on the beach, unable to move, people from a diving equipment shop and a boat company found me. They called my name loudly, causing me to fully recover my senses. The waves were so big that I assumed it would be impossible for any of them to swim to me. However, one Indonesian fellow bravely swam without fins to my location. Soon after, the other people came to me by chaining their life jackets with rope.
Relief supplies were dropped from a helicopter and I drank water and ate cookies. However, my physical condition would not allow me to overcome the giant waves. The helicopter circled overhead many times, then managed to land.
After returning to land and seeing my acquaintances full of tears at a hospital, I understood the situation for the first time. I thank everybody concerned from the bottom of my heart, for their kindness and cooperation. I can’t find words to express my gratitude.
As the search for the missing people continues, I have become so worried that I could not sleep. What I can do is trust the people engaged in the search and describe all the details that I know about, such as the changes in sea currents at the time of the incident. I regret that I cannot take action myself.
I pray for an outcome where all the others will be found as soon as possible. As I can do nothing but pray, I am praying.
Another article based on survivor statements. This one contains more information about surface floats and the ditching of weights as well as a statement from the other four divers.
Beach Trash, Coconut Water Helped Divers Survive - WSJ.com
Beach Trash, Coconut Water Helped Divers Survive
Five Survivors Give Their First Detailed Accounts; Search for Last Diver Continues
Wall Street Journal
Updated Feb. 19, 2014 9:26 a.m. ET
By I Made Sentana, Toko Sekiguchi
BALI, Indonesia—Surviving thanks to coconut water and beach rubbish, burned by a tropical sun and hurled by waves against rocks, a group of Japanese women stayed determined to go home alive after a recreational dive turned into a disaster.
Five survivors from the group gave the first detailed accounts of their ordeal following their rescue after four days in open water and on exposed pieces of land near the Indonesian island of Bali, a popular destination visited by 3.3 million tourists last year.
Recuperating from first-degree sunburn and dehydration in hospitals in Bali, they answered written questions Tuesday and Wednesday from Japanese media submitted through their country’s foreign ministry. Their tale highlighted struggle and resourcefulness as well as sorrow for a colleague who died and stubborn hope for another still missing.
“We kept telling each other…we can get through this,” four of them said in a joint response.
Saori Furukawa, 37 years old, one of two instructors leading the group, said in a separate account that the currents were “gentle” when they made their third dive Friday off Nusa Lembongan, an islet in the channel separating Bali from the island of Lombok, known for tricky currents but also great visibility to see marine life including manta rays and ocean sunfish.
When they surfaced, Ms. Furukawa said, they signaled with their dive floats for their boat to pick them up. But she said that visibility was poor because of sudden heavy rains and strong winds that kicked up high waves.
They heard a boat engine and blew a whistle to attract it. No boat came.
Her colleagues said that they were astonished how far they had drifted underwater. They saw boats but couldn’t recognize theirs.
“We tried to evacuate to the direction of the shallows, but the tide had changed drastically and we dumped our weights immediately,” Ms. Furukawa said. “The water surface started to whirl like a washing machine, and all of us huddled closely and held hands.”
Darkness increased. They drifted, but Ms. Furukawa said that she used the positions of the coast lines, lights from the islands, the flight course of airplanes and a compass to keep a grasp on their location. Coastal currents pushed them back when they tried to swim toward the islands.
“We decided to stay still in order to save our strength, or swam lightly when the tide started to flow a bit toward the islands,” Ms. Furukawa said.
The divers were experienced and didn’t panic, Ms. Furukawa said. They tried to attract the attention of a large boat with lights but failed. They tied their buoyancy jackets together to stay as a group, cheered each other on to stay awake, and drank water from drifting coconuts.
The next morning, they saw a tugboat passing Nusa Penida, another islet. Ms. Furukawa took a float and swam toward it, “kicking my fins with all my might” but was unable to catch its attention. Tidal currents prevented Ms. Furukawa from returning to the group.
She eventually reached Nusa Penida and cleared big offshore rocks and high waves that swept her fins away. Ms. Furukawa said that she was “too weak to move” and unable to seek help, pinned on one side by high waves and on the other by a sheer cliff.
She collected rain water, slurped water droplets from leaves, and drank liquid from plastic bottles littering the beach. She wrapped herself in styrene foam scavenged from the rubbish to stay warm.
The other women also approached Nusa Penida. In their joint statement, four of them—Aya Morizono, Atsumi Yoshidome, Emi Yamamoto and Nahomi Tomita—described a terrifying experience of being carried by big waves toward a cliff and banged atop a rocky stretch.
“After the third or fourth wave swallowed us, we were completely separated from one another,” they said. “It was by chance that the four of us were able to surface…and land.” The others didn’t emerge.
The four climbed to the highest point on the rock and used lights during the night to draw help, to no avail. They stayed in shade during the day to avoid the beating sun. Losing strength, they collected rainwater in their fins and huddled together during a downpour at night to stay warm.
“We kept telling each other that we swam and survived for 28 hours in open water, we can get through this,” they said. “We also worried about our injuries worsening because pus was forming in some of them.”
Search boats found the women Monday. The four on the rock were driven at slow speed to Bali to avoid worsening their injuries. Meanwhile, Ms. Furukawa said that she was lying unable to move and brought to consciousness by people on boats yelling at her. She was taken to safety in a helicopter that first dropped her water and cookies.
“I saw from the helicopter that the four others survived, but heard the other two were missing,” she said. “I was so worried about them I couldn’t sleep at night.”
The body of Ritsuko Miyata was discovered Tuesday floating off some 30 kilometers from where the dive began. Search teams widened operations Wednesday for the last diver, instructor Shoko Takahashi.
–Miho Inada in Tokyo contributed to this article.
Last edited by NatashaS; 02-19-2014 at 11:13 AM.