The search and rescue agency posted this photographic tribute to Syachrul Anto on its Instagram account. (Supplied: Instagram @sar_nasional)
An Indonesian rescue diver has died in the search for a passenger jet that crashed early this week near Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board, search and rescue agency Basarnas said on Saturday.
- Anto died around 4pm on Friday afternoon, but it was not immediately clear how he perished
- His family chose not to conduct an autopsy and asked for his remains to be buried immediately
- Anto had been involved in other missions including the search for an AirAsia jet that crashed off Borneo in 2014
“Syachrul Anto, 48, died on Friday while diving to search for victims of the crashed Lion [Air] aircraft,” the agency said via its Instagram account, @sar_nasional.
“Deepest condolences for the passing of a humanitarian hero from the Indonesian Diving Rescue Team,” Basarnas chief Syaugi said in a news release.
Anto died at around 4pm on Friday, it said, but it was not immediately clear how he perished.
Indonesian navy frogmen try to retrieve debris from the water during a search operation. (AP: Tatan Syuflana)
Anto’s family chose not to conduct an autopsy and asked for his remains to be buried immediately, Basarnas spokesman Yusuf Latif told Reuters by text message.
Among other missions, Anto was also one of the main divers involved in the search for an AirAsia jet that crashed off Borneo in late 2014, he said.
The crash was the worst airline disaster in Indonesia in more than two decades. (AP: Tatan Syuflana)
Rescue divers have played critical roles in recovering human remains for identification and finding out what happened to the near-new Boeing 737 MAX that crashed early on Monday into the Java Sea, 13 minutes after it took off from Jakarta.
As of Saturday a total of 73 body bags, few containing intact remains, had been recovered from the site.
Divers have been searching for a second black box from the jet, as investigators try to get data from a partly-damaged recorder recovered from sunken wreckage 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.
“The team have been hearing the ‘ping’ sound from another black box for two days,” Soerjanto Tjahjono told Reuters.
The sea is only 30 metres deep at the crash site, but strong currents and nearby pipelines have hampered the search.
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.
Results of a preliminary investigation will be made public after 30 days, one official on the investigation team said.
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.