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25 April 2024

Search resumes for seven Japanese divers missing near Bali


Indonesian rescuers on Sunday resumed their search for seven Japanese scuba divers who vanished during a dive near Bali two days ago, a consular official said.

Searchers were combing the seas for the five tourists and two instructors -- all women -- who went missing during their third dive of the day off the island of Nusa Lembongan near Bali on Friday afternoon, deputy consul general of Japan in Bali Yasue Katsunobu said.

Their boat's captain called the police after the women did not resurface, he said.

"We are still searching for the seven missing divers. So far there's no indication of where they are," Katsunobo told AFP on Sunday.

"On Saturday, the search and rescue agency and maritime police went out from six in the morning (2200 GMT Friday), and they've gone out today as well with a large boat and a helicopter," he said.

Rescuers searched until 3 pm on Saturday when bad weather conditions, including heavy rains, forced them to halt the mission, according to Katsunobo.

Bali is often pounded by rain in the afternoons during the wet season, which lasts around six months of the year.

Nusa Lembongan is a popular scuba diving spot and is part of Coral Triangle, widely considered the world's richest underwater wilderness.

It includes the waters of six nations in the Indian and Pacific oceans -- Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.