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Jakarta Post

American tourist goes missing while diving in Ambon Bay 

  • Belseran Christ

    The Jakarta Post

Ambon, Maluku   /   Mon, August 10, 2020   /   05:18 pm
American tourist goes missing while diving in Ambon Bay  A joint team of professional divers from various institutions deploys to look for missing American tourist Carol Marie Lakien in Ambon Bay, Maluku, on Friday. (Photo Courtesy of/Ambon Search and Rescue Office)

An American tourist and professional diving instructor has reportedly gone missing while diving with her husband in Ambon Bay, Maluku.

Ambon administration secretary Antoni Latuheru said the victim, Carol Marie Lakien, 56, better known as Laila, had come to Ambon with her husband, Kevin Scott Pool, and stayed at a hotel in Amahusu village, Nusaniwe district.

“[Lakien] is a professional diving instructor. She went to Ambon on a private yacht with her husband, and they often dove in Ambon Bay,” Antoni told reporters.

Antoni said the couple had been in Ambon since March and had not been able to go back to the United States due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Pool, Lakien’s husband, said both of them were diving instructors and had come to Ambon on a vacation as they could not return to their home country yet.

He explained that, when the incident happened on Friday, bad weather struck as they were about to dive. Not long after that, the bad weather died down, and at 9 a.m. Kevin decided to dive first, before his wife.

An hour later, he said, his wife had joined him.

Later, Pool reportedly rose to the surface and waited for Lakien on their yacht, called Aquabago, but after several hours, she was still missing. He then called for help from local authorities.

Djunaidi, head of the Ambon Search and Rescue Office, said his office had been alerted and set out on a rescue effort at 1:39 p.m. with the help of local residents.

The search was suspended due to bad weather and resumed on Saturday.

On Saturday, Djunaidi said, a joint team of 20 professional divers from the Indonesian Navy, the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) in Ambon, the Maluku Police’s water and air unit (Polairud) and a diving association was deployed to search for Lakien.

The divers were divided into three teams with a focus on the location where Lakien was reported missing.

“We added personnel on the second day because of the changing currents and weather conditions,” he said, adding that the search was still ongoing. (syk)