• Sweden's news in English

Swedish diver found alive and well in Indonesia

AFP · 7 Jun 2008, 10:17

Published: 07 Jun 2008 10:17 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Police in the Nusa Tenggara island chain where the divers went missing late Thursday said fishermen spotted them south of the tiny island of Rinca.

"Fishermen found them floating in the water. They are all safe," Manggarai Barat district police chief Butje Hello told AFP.

There were emotional scenes at the sleepy port of Labuanbajo, western Flores island, when the divers - three Britons, a Frenchman and a Swede - returned to dry land after about 40 hours drifting in tropical waters.

"They are really in good health with no wounds whatsoever. They walked by themselves and hugged each other and cried when they reached the port," local policeman Victor Jumadu said.

"They were at the port for only five minutes and went straight to the health clinic."

A British couple who own a dive shop in Labuanbajo were leading the divers in two groups when the wife's group was apparently swept away in strong currents on Thursday afternoon.

Dive master Ernest Lewandowski told AFP he was ecstatic that his wife, Kathleen Mitchinson, and their guests had been found safe.

"They are all alive and medical services are on standby. Thank God. I just want to hear my wife's voice," he said before rushing to the port to wait for their return.

Police said at least one of the divers was dehydrated but otherwise their condition was not known. A British embassy spokeswoman confirmed that doctors were tending to them.

"We are still in close contact with the local authorities," the embassy spokeswoman said in Jakarta.

A lack of fuel for aircraft meant police had to call on fishermen to help cover the vast search area, after only three search boats could be deployed on Friday.

A commercial aircraft which was scheduled to fly over the area on Saturday morning had promised to circle for an hour but in the end it was not needed.

Lewandowski said he and his wife, who own the Reefseekers Diving business on Flores, were leading two separate groups of divers when his wife's group got into difficulty.

He only noticed they were missing when his group surfaced an hour after entering the water.

The divers were exploring reefs in the Komodo National Park - famed for the giant lizard of the same name - when they vanished in the late afternoon on Thursday.

Story continues below…

The area lies about 500 kilometres (300 miles) east of the popular tourist resort island of Bali. It is well known for its teeming sea-life at dive sites up to 40 metres deep.

Small reef sharks are common but divers say the main threat comes from currents formed by the combination of relatively shallow water, large depth variations and the channels formed between islands.

The currents can reach eight knots and develop suddenly during tide changes.

A tired or inexperienced diver caught in such a rip could be carried tens of kilometres in a matter of hours and for this reason dive operators do not recommend the area for beginners.

Lewandowski said he and his wife were both experienced divers whose shop was one of only a handful of such businesses that operates in the national park.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available