Indonesian SAR deploys 21 divers to search for AirAsia QZ8501

Indonesian SAR deploys 21 divers to search for AirAsia QZ8501

Rear Marshals TNI FHB Soelistyo. (ANTARA/Puspa Perwitasari)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) has deployed 21 divers to look for AirAsia QZ8501 plane around Pangkalanbun waters, Central Kalimantan.

"Some 21 divers comprising 11 Indonesian Navy personnel and 10 rescue team members will search the AirAsia debris site," Basarnas Head Rear Marshals TNI FHB Bambang Soelistyo said here on Tuesday.

He remarked that the divers will search 25 to 30 meters inside the sea and this is safe diving depths.

In other words, rescue teams will not use search tools as the areas are accessible.

So far, Basarnas has covered 95 percent of the AirAsia QZ8501 debris site in the Karimata Strait near Pangkalanbun, Central Kalimantan.

"Findings indicate that 95 percent of the location has been searched and the debris and objects recovered so far reportedly belonged to the AirAsia aircraft," Bambang Soelistyo said.

On Tuesday, the third day of the search for AirAsia QZ8501 plane, which has been missing since Sunday (December 28), rescue teams found some debris objects suspected to be aircraft parts.

"I have not seen the objects. But based on reports received from the field, they include an emergency exit door," he affirmed.

These findings indicate that the objects were part of the aircraft that has gone missing.

Objects that look like metal plates have been found floating. Some objects that look like airframe, emergency exit doors, and the bodies of passengers have also been spotted.

Ten objects believed to be plane debris were spotted by Indonesian Air Force official Agus Dwi Putranto who was flying to Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan, on a CN-235 plane.

Basarnas then sent a team to the site for a close inspection of the objects.

The objects were seen some 105 miles away from Pangkalan Bun. This is some 10 kilometers from the location where the AirAsia QZ8501 plane was contacted just before it disappeared on Sunday morning over the Java Sea with 162 people on board.