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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

Marine Life & Conservation

The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support

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With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.

The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.

Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.

The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.

While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”

There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.

This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.

Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.

Click here to sign the Big Shark Pledge

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Miscellaneous Blogs

Jeff chats to… Craig Waller, Underwater Lighting Technician on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Craig Waller, Underwater Lighting Technician on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Craig is a Key Grip and Lighting Director with 10,000s of hours of Set Experience.

In Craig’s own words:

I started my career when I was in my first year of college.  I always had that creative side of the brain that needed to be followed as a career.  I thought that would be in designing engineering pieces but wasn’t happy about the idea of an office cubicle and drafting table.

I accidentally found my way onto a big commercial job for a week and decided “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO”.   I made it my career after that. This is a quick list of recent and big projects in my 35 yrs of TV / Film / Photography.

Most Recently:

  • “Black Panther 2” – UW Lighting Technician / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
  • “Stranger Things” Season 4 – UW Lighting Technician / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
  • “Suicide Squad 2” – UW Gaffer / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
  • NASCAR / FOX Sports 1 – Network TV Lighting Director – 7 years / 700 races of Live BIG track TV shows
  • 10,000s of commercials / music videos / tv shows

I started diving when I was 18 years old with my OW and then AOW with PADI. I was diving with lots of friends in the late 80s and early 90s and then moved onto Kayaking. I got my daughter into diving when she turned 14 and have picked up where I left off.

I have approx 5000 dives now and spend most of my free time diving.

Here are my certs:

  • OW – AOW 1989
  • Adv Nitrox / Deco 2020
  • Cavern – Intro Cave 2021
  • CCR Tech – Fathom – 2021

You can find out more at www.craigwaller.com


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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