Search & Rescue teams in Ubud, Bali have called off their search for the missing American tourist as seven days have passed without a trace of evidence that he may be found in the area. The missing man, 64-year-old RCN, disappeared on Monday, 3rd October, during a rafting accident on the Ayung River.
The Head of the Denpasar Search and Rescue Office, Gede Darmada, told reporters early on Tuesday 11th October ‘The search for the victim was stopped on Sunday [10/10], because there were no signs of the victim’s whereabouts…If we have information, we will be active and search again. It has been a week without signs of [the victim]’. Search and Rescue teams in Indonesia conduct their operations for a mandatory seven days, and searches come to a close after this period if no further evidence is found.
RCN was one of eleven people on two rafts that were caught in a flash surge of water on the Ayung River during an adventure activity last week. It is believed that the rafts capsized during the incident. The others on the experience were able to haul themselves onto the river banks and forested areas.
As was reported at the time, search and rescue teams thought that RCN could not climb out of the water. The other tourists, five from Australia, two from India, two from Germany, and the two guides were all bought back to land without serious injury.
Meanwhile, in East Bali, the search continues for Graham Smith, who disappeared while snorkeling in Blue Lagoon in Padang Bai. Although the Indonesian-funded search and rescue operation has also been bought to a close after nine days, the family has fundraised to pay for a private search operation.
Graham Smith’s family has raised over GBP 21,000 to pay for a private helicopter to search the area where he went missing on the 28th of September. Smith, described as a ‘selfless man with a heart of gold which puts humor and care at the forefront of every day’ was on holiday in East Bali with his wife, Dianne.
Since his disappearance, three of his six children have flown to Bali to support the search efforts. In an update on the family’s fundraising page, Smith’s son Adam has shared an update.
He wrote, ‘We are blown AWAY by the immediate support and love by all of our family, friends, and strangers, that are not so strange to us now…Because of you we now have the full use of the search helicopter. We were also lucky enough to have lend of the Indonesian navy helicopter as it was passing through for extra support. We are now hiring as many boats and eyes on boats as possible to cover tidal paths mapped by the SAR HQ Team’.
The family has mapped out an area of two square nautical miles off the coast of East Bali, spanning as are as Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Penida. Although the search and rescue effort is well into the second week, the Smith family remains hopeful that their father and husband will be found alive. They have noted that he admires explorers and survival specialists like Bear Grylls and hopes he is alive and waiting to be found.
Weather warnings continue into the week across Bali. The Center for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BBMKG) in Denpasar have issued warnings through to the 15th of October.
I Nyoman Gede Wirajaya from the BBMKG told reporters, ‘From the results of the latest atmospheric dynamics analysis, it shows that there is a cyclonic circulation that forms a pattern of wind bends and a slowdown in wind speed which can increase convective activity and the growth of rain clouds. Those in Bali should be mindful of flash flooding, high waves, and landslides in the coming days.
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