Diver Presumed Dead Found Survived Swimming 20 miles in Shark Infested Waters

Posted by bizarrecherry | On: Aug 23 2011
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A dive instructor who was presumed lost at sea swam ashore to the Damai Puri Resort beachfront yesterday morning, astonishing not just reporters but search and rescue personnel.

Sunburned, tired and emotional at times but speaking coherently, Hishashi Koze, 39, said he swam non stop for close to 24 hours since Saturday afternoon. He was part of a trio reported missing by the boatman who had taken them to the site of a Japanese shipwreck, about 50 minutes from the Santubong Peninsula.

The other divers Satoo Makoto, 40, who works for a Japanese company here, and his friend from Kuala Lumpur, Ngu Teck Hua, 52, were found by a fishing boat at Tanjung Sipang the same night.

The duo were rescued following efforts led by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and were released from the Sarawak General Hospital yesterday after staying overnight under observation. On Saturday, a routine dive to look at underwater relics quickly turned into a nightmare at about noon. After two successful dives, Koze, Makoto and Ngu decided to dive for a third time.

“The third dive lasted for about an hour. We surfaced and I saw the boat was quite far away,” Koze said.

The boat had drifted with the current, and the boatman panicked, having earlier lost sight of the trio’s air bubbles, which is a common safety indicator between divers and boatmen.

“I left the two to get the boat to pick us up. But when I could not see the boat nor the two divers, it was my responsibility to get rescue.”

“I swam backstroke against the waves. I think it was like 30km, through the afternoon, through the night, until this morning when I came ashore at about 10am.

“I kept thinking I needed to survive,” he said.

Koze, who has 15 years of experience as a dive master, manages a dive shop for Damai Puri Resort. He said as light faded he swam “following the stars”, adding that “I had to be calm. The direction of the current told me I was in the right direction. I also had a compass.”

On whether he would dive again, Koze said “Yes, maybe after a week or two.”



Source: Dailymail

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