Japan diver: Sea spun 'like washing machine'

2014-02-19 18:26
A Japanese scuba diver is carried onto an ambulance from a boat as she arrives in Sanur in Denpasar on the Indonesian island of Bali. (Sonny Tumbelaka, AFP)

A Japanese scuba diver is carried onto an ambulance from a boat as she arrives in Sanur in Denpasar on the Indonesian island of Bali. (Sonny Tumbelaka, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Semawang - A Japanese scuba diver who survived three days in waters off Bali after going missing with six other women has told how the weather suddenly turned bad and the sea spun "like a washing machine".

Saori Furukawa, one of five Japanese divers rescued on Monday, gave her dramatic account as rescuers hunted for a woman still missing and a day after a body of one diver was found.

Furukawa said the weather had seemed "serene" when the group set off on Friday from Nusa Lembongan, just east of the Indonesian resort island of Bali.


"At the start of our diving there was no problem in terms of weather and sea conditions", she said in a statement released to Japanese media late Tuesday, adding there were "almost no waves".

But suddenly the group was hit by a huge storm, she added.

"The surface of the sea started to spin like a washing machine and all of us span around together, hand in hand", she said.

The 37-year-old and four others managed to clamber onto rocks and coral reefs after drifting for a long time and were picked up by rescuers on Monday and taken to hospital.

They were found some 20km from where they set off, although Furukawa was in a different spot to the others.

She had separated from the other divers to try and reach a passing tugboat in the hope it would pick them up, but said that she "couldn't get close".

"The current was running in the opposite direction from the current where the rest of the members stayed, so I was swept further away from them", she said.

'Dead or alive'

She arrived at a rocky outcrop late on Saturday and survived for a further two days by drinking rainwater.

Rescuers continued to search for the seventh diver, instructor Shoko Takahashi, who with her Indonesian husband ran the company Yellow Scuba that took the divers out on the expedition.

Her husband, Putu Mahardena Sembah, joined the search on Wednesday, telling reporters "I wish we can find" her, although police cautioned that her chances of survival were slim after five days at sea.

Some 15 rescuers left Semawang beach in south Bali in three boats, while a search and rescue helicopter hovered overhead, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Japanese friends and relatives of the divers, who had travelled to Bali to help in the search, were among the rescuers setting off from the beach, which is lined with scuba diving centres.

Rescue agency officials said they would expand their search area to the neighbouring island of Lombok, as well as hunting near the tourist areas of Sanur and Kuta in southern Bali.

However local police chief Nyoman Suarsika warned: "The chances of finding her alive are very slim now that she has been missing for five days.

"Whether alive or dead, we will try our very best to find her".

The rescued divers were found in the Manta Point area off Nusa Penida island, which is next to Nusa Lembongan.

They are now in hospital in Bali with sunburn and dehydration but doctors say none are in a serious condition.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy

Miley's new dog is too adorable.



13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher
The unusual pets of Instagram
Bertie sets a new world record!

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may meet...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.