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Tourist injured in diving incident

Date Posted: 1999-08-20

A Tokyo resident on holidays in Okinawa was seriously injured Sunday after diving in shallow water near a popular tourist spot in Ginowan City.

At about 1:30 p.m., Toshimasa Uchima, 23, was diving from the breakwater near Tropical Beach in Mashiki, Ginowan City, when he failed to return to the surface. His companion Kazuko Iwamoto, 21, immediately called for help and asked two bystanders, Minoru Nishihama, 29, and Ken Nakamura, 31, to assist. The two men then jumped into the shallow water and dragged the unconscious Uchima to shore. Uchima was then transferred to hospital where he was diagnosed with a fracture to the cervical vertebrae. Although injuries of this type are potentially life-threatening, doctors said Uchima was extremely lucky.

It was low tide when the incident occurred, with a water depth of only 1.2 meters.

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