Lion Air crash: Indonesian diver dies during search and rescue operation

JAKARTA – An Indonesian diver died on Friday (Nov 2) during search and rescue operation for the downed Lion Air flight.

Mr Syachrul Anto, 48, is believed to have died due to decompression issues.

Commander of the search and rescue task force, Colonel Isswarto, told local news portal on Saturday that the incident happened at around 4.30pm on Friday.

An experienced diver, Mr Syachrul had helped out in several evacuation operations – including the Air Asia Flight QZ8501 crash in 2014, and ferry accidents around Indonesia – said his friend Yosep Safrudin in a Facebook post.

Mr Syachrul had just returned home to Surabaya from a humanitarian mission in Palu, which was rocked by an earthquake and tsunami last month.

“A very noble hero… and experienced diver,” wrote Mr Yosep early Saturday morning, adding: “Only one week back from Palu, he asked to be picked up at the airport two days ago, borrowed my diving equipment and asked to be taken to the JT610 evacuation post at Tanjung Priok… I will miss his laughter and kindness.”

The search and rescue operation for Lion Air Flight JT610, which plunged into the Java Sea on Monday morning en route from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang with 189 passengers on board, has entered its sixth day.

Divers are still scouring the sea bed to recover plane parts, human remains, and the aircraft’s second “black box”, the cockpit voice recorder.

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