JAKARTA: Local fishermen have discovered a body believed to be one of the three foreign divers on Monday (Nov 11), more than a week after they went missing off the coast of Java, an official confirmed.
The body was discovered at 6.15am at 8 nautical miles off the coast of Kotodjawa, Lampung province, in western Sumatra.
The location is more than 200km away from Sangiang Island in Java’s Banten province, where the three divers were last spotted on Nov 3.
“The fishermen contacted the local Basarnas (Search and Rescue Agency) officials, who then recovered the body and brought it to the nearest health clinic,” Mr Muhammad Zaenal, chief of Banten Basarnas, told CNA.
A helicopter has been deployed to take the body to the National Police Hospital in Jakarta for identification and a possible autopsy, he added.
Family of the three missing divers have been told to go to the hospital to identify the body.
The three missing divers have been identified as Singaporean Wan Bing Yang and two Chinese nationals Qin Xue Tao and Tian Yu.
Mr Zaenal said the rescuers believed the body was one of the missing divers because it was found wearing diving equipment and gear.
“He might have been swept away by the strong undercurrent,” he said.
“If it is indeed one of the missing divers, we will focus our search in the area.”
As of Sunday afternoon, about 200 rescuers have combed more than 27,000 sq km of the Sunda Strait separating the western coast of Java and southern coast of Sumatra.
READ: Missing divers including Singaporean did not consult local guides on sea conditions: Indonesian rescue official
Mr Zaenal said on Monday that rescuers did not anticipate the missing divers would drift all the way to Kotodjaya.
With the discovery, the team could extend the search and rescue mission which was supposed to end on Tuesday, the Basarnas chief added.