The Jakarta Post
A joint search and rescue team has decided to extend until Nov. 15 its search for three Chinese divers who went missing while diving in the waters near Sangiang Island, Banten.
The victims, Tan Xuz Tao, Wan Bang Yang and Tian Yu, were last seen diving in the waters off Sangiang Island. They were part of a tour group that comprised seven people.
According to the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), the water is supposedly safe for diving due to its shallow depth of 15 to 30 meters. However, upon diving, the tides became intense and swept them out to sea.
Basarnas Banten spokesperson Galih said the agency had decided to extend the rescue mission following a request from the Chinese embassy in Indonesia.
"This is the second time we have extended the rescue mission. It was supposed to end on Nov. 9, but we extended it to Nov. 12, and we are extending it again for three days to Nov. 15," Galih said as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.
The search party also shifted the search to the Lampung area, after they found a body that they suspected belongs to one of the missing divers. The body was found in Bengkunat waters, Lampung. Due to this finding, the team is now focusing its search at Semangka bay as far as the border between Lampung and Bengkulu.
Galih went on to say that the team had established a post in Bengkunat, near the location where the team found one of the victims' bodies.
"We also conducted a search in other locations such as Anyer Carita coast, Krakatau Island, as well as Sebesi to Panaitan Island in Ujung Kulon," he said.
The team has yet to make another finding. However, Galih said the team would continue doing its best to search for the victims until Nov. 15.
The forensics team from RS Soekanto Police Hospital in East Jakarta is still identifying the body that they found in Bengkunat to make sure that it belonged to one of the missing Chinese divers. The hospital also conducted a DNA test on the victims' families since the body was damaged beyond recognition.
"We will find out the result in seven days," Galih said. (dpk)