Indonesian diver dies trying to rescue bodies from doomed Lion Air jet

Watery grave of doomed Lion Air jet that crashed into sea 13 minutes after take off is revealed as Indonesian diver dies following mission to rescue bodies

  • Rescuer Syachrul Anto, 48, collapsed after diving on the doomed Lion Air jet
  • The experienced Indonesian rescue diver is believed to have died of ‘the bends’ 
  • The Boeing 737-MAX crashed on Monday and sank almost 100ft to the sea floor
  • Rescuers have so far recovered bodies of 72 of the 189 passengers and crew 

A rescue diver attempting to recover bodies from an Indonesian jet which crashed on Monday has died. 

The man, Syachrul Anto, 48, collapsed after returning to the surface having dived on the wreckage of a doomed Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX which was lying in almost 100ft of water. 

The jet, which was almost new, plunged into the ocean just 13 minutes after it took off from Jakarta killing all 189 people on board.

Lyan Kruniawati, wife of Syachrul Anto, the rescue diver who died during the mission to recover bodies from the doomed Lion Air jet shows photographs of her late husband at his funeral earlier today in Surabaya, East Java

Syachrul Anto, pictured, collapsed and died after diving on the wreckage of the Lion Air jet which is lying in almost 100 feet of water

Indonesia’s search and rescue agency Basarnas has released footage of the debris field on the bottom of the ocean where Lion Air flight JT610 crashed on Monday killing all 189 on board

Divers have so far recovered more than 70 bodies from the wreckage which is lying in almost 100ft of water.  

Head of the Indonesian search and rescue team Basarnas, Muhammad Syaugi said: ‘Deepest condolences for the passing of a humanitarian hero from the Indonesian Diving Rescue Team.’ 

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The 48-year-old rescue diver had previously worked on the search for bodies after an Air Asia jet crashed off the Borneo coast in late 2014. 

It is understood he may have collapsed from decompression sickness, although the exact cause is unlikely to ever be discovered after his family decided against a post-mortem. 

As of Saturday a total of 73 body bags, few containing intact remains, had been recovered, but only four of the victims had been identified.

The Boeing 737 MAX which crashed on Monday is lying in almost 100ft of water. One diver has died attempting to recover debris and bodies from the sea floor, pictured

The Lion Air jet, pictured, was one of Boeing’s new 737-MAX  aircraft, pictured 

The pilot of the doomed Lion Air jet had requested an immediate return to Jakarta before the Boeing 737 MAX plunged into the ocean killing all 189 people on board

Some debris from the jet has floated to the surface following Monday’s crash 

Officials are trying to recover as much as the wreckage as possible to determine what caused the disaster which involved a brand new state-of-the-art passenger jet

Divers have been searching through debris on the muddy sea bed for a second black box from the jet, as investigators try to get data from a partly damaged recorder recovered on Thursday.

The pilot of flight JT610 had asked for, and received, permission to turn back to Jakarta, but what went wrong remains a mystery.

Rescue divers are also trying to locate the aircraft’s second black box which has been ‘pinging’ for the past two days.

While victims’ relatives are desperate to know what happened, the investigation of the first crash of a Boeing 737 MAX is also the focus of scrutiny by the global aviation industry. Preliminary investigation findings are expected to be made public after 30 days.

The aircraft’s pilot had requested permission to return to Jakarta before the jet crashed 

Some of the aircraft’s victims such as Candra Kirana have already been positively identified 

Relatives of victim Hizkia Jorry Saruinsong sit by his coffin at the hospital’s morgue

Indonesia is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets but its safety record has been patchy. Its transport safety panel investigated 137 serious aviation incidents from 2012 to 2017.

Divers have also located the aircraft’s engines and landing gear.

The aircraft’s flight data recorder was retrieved on Thursday. 

Flight tracking websites show the plane had erratic speed and altitude during its 13 minute flight Monday and a previous flight on Sunday from Bali to Jakarta. Passengers on Sunday’s flight reported terrifying descents and in both cases the different cockpit crews requested to return to their departure airport shortly after takeoff.

All 189 passengers and crew died with the almost-new jet plunged into the sea just 13 minutes after the Lion Air jet departed Jakarta airport

Lion has claimed a technical problem was fixed after Sunday’s fight. Investigators are still attempting to retrieve information from the flight data recorder’s “crash surviveable memory unit” that will help determine the cause of the disaster. It has been damaged and requires special handling, they say.

The Lion Air crash is the worst airline disaster in Indonesia since 1997, when 234 people died on a Garuda flight near Medan. In December 2014, an AirAsia flight from Surabaya to Singapore plunged into the sea, killing all 162 on board.

Indonesian airlines were barred in 2007 from flying to Europe because of safety concerns, though several were allowed to resume services in the following decade. The ban was completely lifted in June. The U.S. lifted a decadelong ban in 2016.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia’s youngest airlines but has grown rapidly, flying to dozens of domestic and international destinations. It has been expanding aggressively in Southeast Asia, a fast-growing region of more than 600 million people.  

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