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Three people drown at Okinawa’s beaches on Sunday

Date Posted: 2003-08-22

Separate drowning accidents left three people dead on Sunday. Ishigaki Police say a female tourist from Wakayama Prefecture had gone snorkeling with her family to the reef off a beach on Taketomi Island when a rip current started to carry one of her children out to the ocean. She rushed to the rescue and managed to grab the child to safety, but was caught into the current herself. A local fisherman discovered her body 1.5 hours later floating face down on the ocean.

On Kume Island, a couple was riding on a jetski when they were overturned by a wave and thrown off. The 32-year-old man driving the watercraft managed to swim to the shore, but the woman who had been riding with him did not make it. Despite efforts of some 50 divers and 10 boats, including a Maritime Safety Agency patrol boat, she was not found until Monday morning when her body was discovered on a beach.

A 47-year-old American teacher from Kadena High School had gone snorkeling off Ikei Island. When she failed to return her friends called for help. A MSA rescue team discovered her body in shallow water on the south side of the island, and took her to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

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