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Body of missing scuba diver found off Bali

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A body of a female scuba diver found Tuesday near the Indonesian resort island of Bali has been identified as Ritsuko Miyata, one of the two remaining Japanese women who disappeared while scuba diving in the area last week, according to medical officials.

Forensic doctors identified the body as that of 59-year-old Miyata. In addition, she was recognized by her husband and son from a wedding ring on her left hand.

“The victim may have died about three days ago,” Felix Sangkalia, chief of the Disaster Victim Investigation of the Bali Police Headquarters, told reporters.

The body was found a day after the Bali rescue agency rescued five of the seven Japanese scuba divers, who went missing on Friday. The search continues for Shoko Takahashi, a 35-year-old local diving instructor who is the only member of the diving party who remains unaccounted for.

The body, wearing a wet suit, fins and a BCD, was found at 6:10 p.m. in Serangan about 20 km away from where the group went missing, Didi Hamzar, chief of the Bali Search and Rescue Agency, told a press conference.

Hamzar told a news conference earlier in the day that rescuers had received information from local people that a body was found floating in Serangan waters, south of Bali.

On Monday afternoon, rescuers found Atsumi Yoshidome, 29, Aya Morizono, 27, Emi Yamamoto, 33, Nahomi Kawasaki, 28, and Saori Furukawa, 37, in two separate rocky coastal areas of Nusa Penida, a small island southeast of Bali. The island is some 30 km from where they began their dive Friday afternoon off the tiny neighboring island of Nusa Lembongan.

Furukawa, one of the two locally based Japanese diving instructors who led the diving expedition, told Japanese consular officials that all seven of them drifted away together from the original dive site, and that they subsequently became separated.

Racing against time, rescuers are working on the assumption that the two missing divers drifted away in the same direction as the five who were rescued.

Furukawa, who was found by herself about 800 meters away from the four others, was evacuated by helicopter, while the others were later rescued by rubber dinghy.

Doctors said the five rescued women suffered minor abrasions, and to some extent sunburn, dehydration and hypothermia, but none is in serious condition.

Speaking briefly from her hospital bed, Furukawa said she felt hungry and had a headache.

“She was very tough,” said Capt. Dian Bashari, pilot of the helicopter that evacuated her. “She kept asking about the condition of her guests, trying to look out from the chopper’s window to see where they were.”

Furukawa told him she had almost managed to swim to Sanur beach on Bali, about an hour by boat from the location where the divers went missing, but the current swept her back to Nusa Penida.

 

Source: www.japantimes.co.jp

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Euro-Divers opens to guests at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives

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In celebration of Euro-Divers’ 50 Years of Diving with Friends in the Maldives, the team have opened a new PADI 5 Star Dive Center at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives.

Alila Kothaifaru Maldives retreat lies at the northern edge of the Maldives in the tranquil Raa Atoll, reached via a panoramic 45-minute seaplane voyage from Male. The island has 80 all-pool-villas, 36 of which are over water with a private pool for your enjoyment and 44 beachfront villas designed seamlessly to immerse guests in the natural surroundings. In support of sustainable tourism, Alila hotels adopt Earth Check operating standards, integrating their environments’ natural, physical, and cultural elements.

Raa Atoll is well-known for the excellent scuba diving it offers. The underwater landscape of Raa Atoll is characterized by a high number of thilas scattered inside the lagoons. These underwater coral mountains are magnets for marine life including huge schools of tropical reef fish, a generous splash of colour, iconic bucket-list-must-see marine creatures including sharks, mantas (appearing during the entire year), turtles, and uncrowded dive sites—a perfect diver’s heaven for beginners and experienced divers. We offer a full range of PADI courses for different levels. From November till March, the Manta cleaning station is located 15 minutes away by boat.

The team from Alila Kothaifaru Maldives look forward to welcoming you soon.

Find out more at: www.euro-divers.com/alila-kothaifaru-maldives

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Marine Life & Conservation

Blue Marine Foundation launches new partnership with Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance

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Ocean charity makes initial grant of $90,000 to marine parks on six Dutch Caribbean islands. Award will fund projects including coral protection, and training youth marine rangers.

Ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation has announced it is awarding $90,000 in funding to support marine conservation in the Dutch Caribbean. A range of projects run by protected area management organisations on six islands will each receive a grant of $15,000. The funding is the first step in a longer-term partnership to support the islands and help secure sustainable financing through the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) Trust fund.

To improve ocean governance, Blue Marine uses a combination of top-down intervention and bottom-up project delivery to help local communities at the front line of conservation. It will work together with the DCNA to help marine-park organisations protect the unique and threatened biodiversity of the Dutch Caribbean.

The new partnership is an important development in the successful management of marine conservation parks in the Dutch Caribbean. The UK-based charity has established a small-grants fund to provide rapid access to support for critical conservation projects run by marine parks.

The individual projects and their local partners are:

Unique ecosystems on the islands are vulnerable to threats such as feral livestock causing sedimentation on reefs, and invasive species, including lionfish and coral diseases. They are also at risk from overfishing, climate change, coastal development, erosion and the build-up of harmful algae caused by waste water.

The islands of the Dutch Caribbean are also home to important “blue carbon” habitats – ocean ecosystems such as seagrasses, mangroves and other marine plants that suck up and lock away carbon from the earth’s atmosphere. Seagrass is so efficient at this it can capture and store carbon dioxide up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.  The management and protection of these blue carbon habitats is vital in the fight against climate change.

Current marine conservation measures in the islands include a 25,390 square km mammal and shark sanctuary- Yarari sanctuary- across the Exclusive Economic Zone of Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius. All six islands have inshore Marine Protected Areas ranging in size from 10 to 60 sq km.

Blue Marine’s Senior Project Manager Jude Brown commented: “Having recently visited two of the islands, I witnessed first-hand how special this region is. Diving the waters off Saba I saw huge Tarpon swimming amongst shoals of blue tang, and hawksbill turtles feeding on the seagrass beds. I also witnessed the challenges these islands are facing from coral disease to issues with coastal development. It is an exciting opportunity to work in the Dutch Caribbean, bringing expertise and funding from Blue Marine to join with the wealth of knowledge already on the islands, to work together to protect the important marine life arounds these islands.”

Tadzio Bervoets, Director of the DNCA commented: “The Dutch Caribbean consists of the Windward Islands of St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius and the Leeward Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. The nature of the Dutch Caribbean contains the richest biodiversity in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The diverse ecosystems are a magnet for tourism and at the same time the most important source of income for residents of the Dutch Caribbean. Nature on the islands is unique and important but it is also fragile. The coming week we will be in The Netherlands to present a Climate Action Plan for the Dutch Caribbean to emphasize the urgent need for a climate smart future for our islands.”


Photo: Coral reefs in the Dutch Caribbean- Photo credit: Naturepics: Y.+T. Kühnast- all rights reserved

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The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

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