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Five divers found alive on isle off Indonesia

A massive sea search discovered the five Europeans. Currents there are treacherous.

JAKARTA, Indonesia - All five Europeans who went missing while scuba diving in treacherous waters off eastern Indonesia were found alive yesterday on a remote island, police and family members said.

The divers - three from Britain and one each from France and Sweden - were found following a massive sea search in the area where they were last seen Thursday, said Lt. Col. Buce Helo, a local police chief.

"They were found on Rinca island and are now being transported to Labuhan Bajo onboard a motorboat," he said.

The husband of one of the divers, Kathleen Mitchinson of Britain, confirmed the report.

"They are alive and are now on their way to get medical assistance," Ernest Leandowski told the British news agency Press Association. "That is all I can say at this stage as I have not yet spoken to my wife."

The five had last been seen by fellow divers plunging into the water from their wooden boat off Tatawa island, near the Komodo National Park, home to the world's largest lizards, the Komodo dragons.

The area is famous for its rich marine diversity but also for its treacherous and unpredictable seas.

Recommended only for experienced divers, it is in a place where the Indian and Pacific Oceans meet, creating currents that converge and separate. Whirlpools and eddies can pull divers downward.

"We don't know what their medical condition is," Dave Allin, the relieved father of Charlotte Allin, also of Britain, told the Press Association. "They have been floating out there for two days. We are still waiting for news of how they are."

The three other divers were identified as James Manning of Britain, Elena Neralairen of Sweden, and Lauren Pinel of France.