Scuba Divers Missing Off Bali Located
A view of Gunung Agung Volcano from Nusa Lembongan, where the seven Japanese scuba divers started their excursion.
This is the James Clark Ross, a ship run by the British Antarctic Survey that carried Sue Scott and other researchers on a journey to Tristan da Cunha, a remote island and archipelago in the South Atlantic.
The journey was funded in part by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Over the past decade, Scott has made dozens of dives in the rough water surrounding the island and helped chronicle the unique life there. She's based in northwestern Scotland but finds herself repeatedly drawn to the island — this was her eighth trip — and is one of the few experts on the sea life there. Until now, nobody had seen what lurks just beyond the range of scuba divers, at a depth of about 150 to 300 meters (492 to 984 feet) beneath the ocean's surface.
This is the larvae of a rock lobster (Jasus Tristani) which, at this life stage, is called a puerulus. When it was first found, few of the biologists on board knew what it was.
The seas slugs were collected from the ocean floor near the island of Gough, which is part of the Tristan archipelago.
This little guy was collected by a seafloor trawl near Gough, which is part of the Tristan archipelago. Like all hermit crabs, it uses the shells of other animals in which to live.
These cup corals were found in large numbers in the waters near Tristan da Cunha, at depths between 150 to 300 meters (492 to 984 feet).
The cup corals appear to thrive in the waters beyond the reach of divers, making due with the scant light that penetrates.
This is the island of Tristan da Cunha, with the settlement — known as Edinburgh of the Seven Seas — on the right. On the left is a volcano that erupted in 1961, and the scar from a recent rock fall. The island has a population of about 260 residents.
Recently, islanders built a replica of a traditional Tristan house made of volcanic rock with a roof thatched from New Zealand flax. The house is nestled between lava flows from the island's 1961 eruption.
This larval eel head was photographed by a mid-water trawl, suspended above the seafloor off of Tristan.
Update 2/19: The body of one of the missing divers was found floating in the sea, reports AFP. It's not yet clear whether the seventh diver is alive.
Indonesian police said Tuesday they believe villagers on Bali have spotted two Japanese scuba divers alive four days after they went missing, following the astonishing rescue of five others in the same group.
A huge search swung into action on Friday when the group of female divers disappeared after setting out on a diving expedition from Nusa Lembongan, just east of the resort island of Bali.
As days passed, hopes faded that any of the women, all experienced divers, would be found alive in an area known for its stunning underwater beauty but also strong, unpredictable currents.
But fishermen found five of the women clinging to a coral reef in rough waters on Monday, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from where they set off, and rescuers plucked them to safety in a helicopter and lifeboat.
On Tuesday, police said that villagers had reported seeing two people on a coral reef near the same area sending distress signals by shining lights the previous night.
"We believe they are the missing Japanese divers and they are alive," local police chief Nyoman Suarsika told AFP.
He said rescuers were on the way to the area close to Manta Point, off Nusa Penida island, which lies next to Nusa Lembongan.
"We have not been able to reach them yet," he added.
Rescue agency officials said earlier that a helicopter and two boats had been dispatched to the area to search for the remaining divers.
The five women who have been rescued are all in hospital in Bali. They have suffered dehydration and sunburn but none are in serious condition, doctors said.
"We caused many people so much worry over this case," one of the divers, Saori Furukawa, wrote in a note handed to Japanese media from her hospital bed. "I would like to take a rest for a while, hoping the remaining two are alive."
Kazuo Shibata, consul general at the Japanese consulate in Bali, told Japanese media he had visited four of the divers and that they were fine.
"They were moved to tears when I told them, 'It's so good you were rescued'," he said.
The news was splashed across the front page of major newspapers in Japan, many carrying images of one rescued woman lying on a stretcher, while TV news also supplied regular coverage of the dramatic scene.
Friends and colleagues of the two still missing said they were clinging to the belief they were alive.
"I believe the two still missing are floating somewhere near the spot where the five were discovered," said diving instructor Toru Furuyama, 40, who knows one of the pair.
Another friend Hideki Terayama, an underwater photographer who helped with an effort to raise funds to search for the divers, wrote on his Facebook page: "Let's pray that the other two will be found."
Furuyama said it was likely the rescued divers had managed to survive by floating in a group.
"That means they can cheer each other up and support each other, mentally and physically," he said.
He also said they may have benefited from the weather: "It's their rainy season there, so it's relatively easy to harvest rainwater while floating on the sea."