• Kyodo


Seven scuba divers were rescued Monday morning several hours after they were stranded at the foot of a cliff when their boat ran aground in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, Japan Coast Guard officials said.

Guardsmen rescued six men and one woman in their 40s to 50s in an operation that resumed at dawn using a midget boat, the officials said. No one was seriously injured.

“I am fine. I feel relieved that I was rescued,” said Keiko Ito, 44, as she dried her face with a towel.

The seven, from Osaka and Aichi prefectures, were scuba diving Sunday afternoon when their boat, which was anchored nearby, ran aground on a rocky area near the cliff after the anchor rope snapped.

The divers stayed overnight at the base of the cliff, the officials said. The foot of the cliff, which is on the Tsuruga Peninsula, is accessible only from the sea.

One of the trapped divers used a cell phone to contact the local coast guard office shortly after 6 p.m. An initial effort to rescue the divers was thwarted due to high waves.

Coast guard personnel descended to where the divers were located from a helicopter just after midnight and stayed with them overnight after supplying them with food and water.

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