Woman diver rescued after drifting 19 hours

A 66-year-old man and 40-year-old woman diving off Keise Island, commonly known on Okinawa as Chiibishi, located between Naha and Tokashiki, were swept away about noon on Sunday.

According to Naha Coast Guard, the woman had gone with four friends to dive at a popular dive spot off Chiibishi. Right after they started the dive, the waves swept the man away. The woman tried to help him, but both went missing.

The man was rescued about three hours later seven kilometers southeast from the dive site, but the woman was not found.

A private tugboat Nr. 8 Daiou-maru found the woman next morning drifting about seven kilometers off shore from the Naha Port and rescued her about 19 hours after she had gone missing. She was taken to a hospital in a Coast Guard helicopter, where she is reported to be in a good condition.

Throughout her ordeal, the woman had a black wetsuit and B.C. jacket on that allowed her to stay afloat and kept her warm.

07:15 24 Oct , 2016