A search and rescue (SAR) team has decided to stop the search for a French foreigner who allegedly drowned while swimming in the North Lombok area.
It has been a week since the disappearance. The victim is known to be a 50-year-old French woman with the initials LAM. She tried to swim from Gili Trawangan to Gili Meno, North Lombok on the afternoon of Sunday, 18th December 2022. However, the SAR team has not been able to find any signs of the victim.
Acting Head of the Mataram Search and Rescue Office Muhdar said that, based on the results of coordination with the relevant parties involved, the operation was stopped on the seventh day, precisely on Christmas Day.
“We stopped the search today at 6pm local Lombok time with zero results,” he said on Sunday.
Muhdar added that the joint SAR Team had made every effort to search both from water and land. The search radius at sea reached tens of nautical miles (NM) from the estimated location of the drowning, using sea riders and speed boats.
The search on land was carried out by sweeping along Sire and Impos beaches. Dissemination of information to fishermen and local residents has also been carried out. According to Muhdar, the unfriendly weather became an obstacle for the SAR team in their efforts to find the victim.
“Especially when searching in the water, the obstacles are heavy rain accompanied by strong winds, strong currents, and high waves,” he explained.
UPDATE 5TH JANUARY 2023
A body, suspected to be the missing French tourist in Lombok waters reported in late December 2022, was discovered on the Dusun Bone Puteh Beach of West Sumbawa Regency, West Nusa Tenggara on Wednesday, 4th January 2023 morning.
“We received a report around 7:10 WITA [local Sumbawa time]. We immediately went to the location and coordinated with the police and the National Armed Forces,” confirmed the Regional Disaster Management Agency, Abdul Hamid, in a written message to Kompas.tv on Wednesday.
After being taken to the Asy-Syifa Hospital in West Sumbawa, the body is now at Mataram Bhayangkara Hospital in Lombok for an identification process.
“We don’t know (the identity of the body). That will be the authority of the forensic team,” he added.