JAKARTA: An Indonesian diver involved in the search and rescue operation of Lion Air flight JT610 which crashed on Monday off West Java has died, an official said on Saturday (Nov 3).
The incident took place on Friday, after Syachrul Anto, 48, went missing and did not return to the surface after 4pm, when the search was called off due to failing light.
According to local news portal Merdeka.com, the dive mission’s team leader Bayu Wardoyo said the victim’s body was retrieved from the sea at 9.30pm (10.30pm, Singapore time).
"He was found by the SAR team, fainted. He was treated by our doctors, after he regained consciousness, we sent him to the chamber for decompression.
"We have all the equipment, however God's will says differently," national search and rescue agency head Muhammad Syaugi said at a press conference.
Syachrul had previously served in Palu which suffered from an earthquake and tsunami in September and also took part in the evacuation process of an AirAsia plane crash nearly four years ago.
Commander of the Indonesian navy's search and rescue division Colonel Isswarto said that decompression issues may have caused the diver’s death, Merdeka.com reported.
"He was a volunteer with the national search and rescue agency Basarnas," said Isswarto.
The incident is being investigated by Basarnas.
HELP TO DOWNLOAD BLACK BOX DATA
Flight JT610 crashed shortly after take-off from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport en route to Pangkal Pinang. All 189 people on board are believed to have died.
At least 73 bags containing body parts have been retrieved from the waters so far but only four victims have been identified.
Officials on Thursday retrieved the flight data recorder but are still searching for the second black box, the cockpit voice recorder, which could answer the question as to why the brand new Boeing-737 MAX 8 crashed.
"We have heard a weak 'ping' ... the divers are still searching for it," Syaugi said.
Two days after the flight data recorder was recovered, investigators at Indonesia's national transportation safety committee have yet to download the key data due to salt residue on the memory card.
Nurcahyo Utomo, head of aircraft transport accident investigation at the NTSC said, said there were "some obstacles" and the process required more time than expected.
The committee has been receiving help from their American counterparts at the US National Transportation Safety Board, but will be getting additional assistance from Australia, Utomo added.
"This afternoon, investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will arrive to help download the black box data", he said.