Rescued diver says sea spun 'like washing machine'
By Gianrigo Marletta, AFP
February 20, 2014, 12:20 am TWN
SEMAWANG, Indonesia -- A Japanese scuba diver who survived three days in waters off Bali after going missing with six other women has told how the weather suddenly turned bad and the sea spun “like a washing machine.”
Saori Furukawa, one of five Japanese divers rescued Monday, gave her dramatic account as rescuers hunted for a woman still missing and a day after a body of one diver was found.
Furukawa said the weather had seemed “serene” when the group set off Friday from Nusa Lembongan, just east of the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
“At the start of our diving there was no problem in terms of weather and sea conditions,” she said in a statement released to Japanese media late Tuesday, adding there were “almost no waves.”
But suddenly the group was hit by a huge storm, she added.
“The surface of the sea started to spin like a washing machine and all of us span around together, hand in hand,” she said.
The 37-year-old and four others managed to clamber onto rocks and coral reefs after drifting for a long time and were picked up by rescuers on Monday and taken to hospital.
They were found some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from where they set off, although Furukawa was in a different spot to the others.
She had separated from the other divers to try and reach a passing tugboat in the hope it would pick them up, but said that she “couldn't get close.”
“The current was running in the opposite direction from the current where the rest of the members stayed, so I was swept further away from them,” she said.
She arrived at a rocky outcrop late Saturday and survived for a further two days by drinking rainwater.
Rescuers continued to search for the seventh diver, instructor Shoko Takahashi, who with her Indonesian husband ran the company Yellow Scuba that took the divers out on the expedition.