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Diver Dies During Lion Air Search and Rescue Operation

An Indonesian diver died on Friday (Nov 2) during a search and rescue operation for the downed Lion Air flight.

Mr Syachrul Anto, 48, is believed to have died due to decompression issues.

Commander of the search and rescue task force, Colonel Isswarto, told local media on Saturday that search and rescue efforts were stopped at 4pm on Friday as daylight was fading.

But Mr Syachrul had yet to surface at about 4.30pm.

He was taken by ship to the dock of the Jakarta International Container Terminal at Tanjung Priok, where a search and rescue command centre has been set up, at about 9.30pm.

Local news portal reported that doctor’s notes from Koja District Hospital said the diver was rushed to the hospital at 10.10pm unconscious and with no pulse.

An experienced diver, Mr Syachrul had helped out in several evacuation operations – including the Air Asia Flight QZ8501 crash in 2014, and ferry accidents around Indonesia – said his friend Yosep Safrudin in a Facebook post.

Mr Syachrul had just returned home to Surabaya from a humanitarian mission in Palu, which was rocked by an earthquake and tsunami last month.

“A very noble hero… and experienced diver,” wrote Mr Yosep early Saturday morning, adding: “Only one week back from Palu, he asked to be picked up at the airport two days ago, borrowed my diving equipment and asked to be taken to the JT610 evacuation post at Tanjung Priok… I will miss his laughter and kindness.”

The search and rescue operation for Lion Air Flight JT610, which plunged into the Java Sea on Monday morning en route from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang with 189 passengers on board, has entered its sixth day.

Divers are still scouring the sea bed to recover plane parts, human remains, and the aircraft’s second “black box”, the cockpit voice recorder.

Source: Straits Times

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