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Rip current claims tourist in Ishigaki

Date Posted: 1998-09-25

A female tourist from Osaka was caught in a rip current while snorkeling and drowned, off a beach in Ishigaki City, Thursday. Four others who had tried to rescue the woman and had been carried out to the sea were rescued,

According to Yaeyama Police, a group of five tourists had gonr to the beach in order to swim. However, they found the waves very high because of passing typhoon Vicki. Officials at Okinawa Meteorological Observatory had issued a warning for high waves at the time.

After an hour on the beach, Yurie Shimamoto, 20, decided to go snorkeling, and was almost immediately caught in a rip current that carried her out to the sea. The other four persons in her party put on life jackets and tried to swim to her rescue and were carried out to the sea also.

A beach goer who had seen the situation called Yaeyama Police who dispatched a helicopter to the scene. The police also alerted the Maritime Safety Agency which sent a rescue boat to the area. The rescue boat was able to pull the four who had managed to cling to their life jackets. Shimamoto was found near by floating in the ocean on her back and was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

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