More than 150 rescuers deployed in search for Singaporean diver missing off Indonesia’s Java island
BANTEN, Indonesia: The Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) deployed more than 150 rescuers to comb the Sunda Strait on Wednesday (Nov 6), as efforts to locate three missing divers including a Singaporean entered the fourth day.
The team has covered more than 900 sq km of the area between Sumatra and Java, southwest of Sangiang Island in Banten province, where the three men were last seen on Sunday afternoon.
The missing Singaporean has been identified as Wan Bing Yang, while the other two are Chinese nationals Qin Xue Tao and Tian Yu.
According to a statement by Basarnas, nine patrol vessels and one rescue helicopter were involved in the mission as well.
The missing men were with four other friends on Sangiang Island, about 30 minutes by boat from Merak port.
Six of them went diving at 2pm on Sunday, but only three returned to shore at 3pm, authorities said.
Rescue officials believe that they may have been washed away by currents heading towards the Indian Ocean.
On Wednesday morning, about 20 people, believed to be friends and relatives of the missing divers, were seen at Merak port, where Basarnas was coordinating the rescue efforts. They declined to be interviewed.
Tents were erected while a mobile hyperbaric chamber was on standby.
On Tuesday, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said Indonesian authorities are coordinating search and rescue operations.
MFA added that it was providing assistance to the family of the missing Singaporean.
The Singapore Embassy has been liaising closely with the Indonesian authorities involved in the search mission, while a consular officer from the embassy was on the ground to “provide assistance and close support”, it said.