Missing Divers - Komodo National Park

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NTSilver

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From CNN
JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- Rescue teams were searching Friday for five people who did not return from a diving trip in Indonesia, officials said.
The divers went into the waters off Komodo National Park, between the Indonesian islands of Sumbawa and Flores, on Thursday.
Six snorkelers in their group returned, but the divers did not, according to an official with the Komodo Divers Association.
The missing include one British man and four women -- two from Britain, one from France and one from Sweden.
The remote Komodo National Park is a major draw for divers, billed by holiday firms as a tropical paradise that boasts large areas of unspoilt coral and a huge variety of marine life.
However the area is plagued by strong and unpredictable currents.
Last month two scuba divers -- a British man and an American woman -- were rescued after spending 20 hours in shark-infested waters around Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
 

banjoman1948

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CNN also reported that one of the missing was the DM, Kathleen Mitchison, an employee of Reefseekers diving center, which organized the expedition.

My prayers go out for their safe recovery.
 

Saltwater Junky

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Hope all are safe and will be found soon.

If the charter service knows the currents are strong and unpredictable, then why are the divers missing? Shouldn't the charter have an idea as to where the divers would surface given the bottom and surface currents? Shouldn't the charter service monitor the currents closely to better insure the safety of its customers? What about having a group of divers tow a surface buoy?
 

SCUBAJENNIFER

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Currents are ridiculously strong there...You can get pulled away in a hurry. The only plus that I can think of is that if they were able to surface, there are sooooo many small islands, it shouldn't be that much of a task to find somewhere to get out of the water. In the 40 some dives I've done there, I don't ever recall not being able to see some island nearby.
 

Scared Silly

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The missing include one British man and four women -- two from Britain, one from France and one from Sweden.

Hopefully he is sitting on a small island enjoying the company of the four ladies with him. Safely mind you.
 

SCUBAJENNIFER

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Hopefully he is sitting on a small island enjoying the company of the four ladies with him. Safely mind you.

Maybe he doesn't want to be found??? :wink:

In all seriousness, If I were to get lost from a dive boat, Komodo would be the place to do it.
I wish we knew what dive site they were at...might be easier to know where they might wind up.
 
OP
NTSilver

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From Fox News
Five scuba divers from Britain, France and Sweden are missing in the sea off remote islands in Indonesia after being swept away in a current.
Three of the divers, two women and a man, are British, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed.
The other members of the group are a Swedish woman and a French man.
They failed to return from a dive yesterday in the treacherous waters of the Komodo National Park in the Nusa Tenggara islands east of Bali, police said.
"A rescue team from the Indonesian police and navy conducted a search this morning for the five missing foreigners but there has been no result so far," said Manggarai Barat district police chief Butje Hello.
The husband of one of the missing British women said the search was being hampered by a lack of fuel for a helicopter which had been offered from Kupang on Timor Island.
"We've got a big search operation happening here but we're having trouble getting aircraft to fly because of fuel problems," said Ernest Lewandowski.
He said he and his wife Kathleen Mitchinson, who own a dive shop on the nearby island of Flores, had been leading two separate groups of tourists on the dive.

He only noticed his wife's group was missing when his group surfaced an hour after they entered the water.
"There were three boats out today searching. I was on a speedboat going around all the beaches and everything to see if they had washed up," he said.
The Foreign Office is providing consular assistance and liaising with the local authorities involved in the search, a spokeswoman said.
The Komodo National Park is a popular diving destination which is well-known for spectacular coral and fishlife as well as strong currents.
"The area is reknowned for big fish, deep water and fast currents," said a UK diving instructor.
"Most of the diving there is drift diving - where you go down in one place, let yourself be taken along by a current, and come back up somewhere else.
"The surface support - the boat they're on - follows them, and normally when a drift dive goes wrong it's either because of diver error - they don't come back up when they're supposed to - or because the surface support hasn't worked."
It is also home to many rare species including the world's largest lizard, the Komodo dragon.
 

diverdwn71

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I hope and pray they are found safe. On the other hand...being the only guy on a island with 4 women sounds like a future letter to Playboy to me. :eek:)
 

PeCeDiver

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If the charter service knows the currents are strong and unpredictable, then why are the divers missing? Shouldn't the charter have an idea as to where the divers would surface given the bottom and surface currents? Shouldn't the charter service monitor the currents closely to better insure the safety of its customers? What about having a group of divers tow a surface buoy?

It isn't that easy. Changing currents, split currents, down currents. We had all of those two weeks ago in the Komodo national park. I don't think that dragging a surface buoy is an option either. It could cause more problems then it is worth. For instance, the current at the surface could go in a different direction than at depth.

Even the best and most experienced dive guides cannot predict currents. Komodo is a place where nature is the boss.

I hope that the lost divers are found quickly and in good health.
 

Wayan

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Maybe he doesn't want to be found??? :wink:

In all seriousness, If I were to get lost from a dive boat, Komodo would be the place to do it.
I wish we knew what dive site they were at...might be easier to know where they might wind up.

They were diving North Tatawa Besar. Being close to the New Moon the currents would be close to their strongest running at 5 knots or more. They certainly are most un-predicatable in Komodo which would make the search harder

There have been people swept away in the past and picked up some 70 hours later so lets hope they get found soon
 

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