On 28 December 2014 one of the most tragic air incident occured in Indonesia. Air Asia Flight Number QZ8501 flying route from Surabaya to Singapore was lost around the Java Sea.
Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) commenced a search and rescue operation and aircraft debris and casualties floating between the Java Sea and the Karimata Strait were found.
On 5 January 2015 our team were called in by Basarnas to join the search and rescue effort as we were considered as a professional dive team ready for such operations. We became a special unit called the Indonesian Divers Search Rescue Unit, with code name Alpha and Bravo.
On 8 January 2015 we flew by airforce transport aircraft to the Pangkalanbun city in South Kalimantan which became the field base for the rescue effort. From Pangkalanbun we travel westbound to the crash site which is around 130 nautical miles, and stays there for almost 2 months to find debris and victims underwater.
All team has returned to base safely and in total we found 20 bodies from underwater, and all the remains of the ill-fated aircraft.
The aircraft carried 171 passengers, which until the closing of the search and rescue operations 103 bodies were found and the remaining still missing. Our prayers goes for all the victims and family.
Some stories can be found in the following news links: