• Kyodo


Four scuba divers were found safe Monday evening after they failed to return to their boat after setting off in the morning near an uninhabited group of islets in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan Coast Guard officials said.

The skipper of the diving tour boat had alerted the local coast guard around 9:30 a.m. that three guests and an instructor had not returned at the scheduled time off the Uji archipelago in the southwestern part of the prefecture.

The four are Hisanobu Takahashi, 71, and Kazuyoshi Arakawa, 39, both from the city of Fukuoka, Norio Kokubo, 44, from Tokyo, and 32-year-old instructor Yoshie Kudo from the city of Oita, they said.

The four began their dive at 6:30 a.m. with another group of five. They arrived in the diving location around 3 p.m. Saturday on the 10-ton Viking Star, which left Nagasaki port Friday evening with four crew members and 13 guests aboard.

The weather was fine in the area Monday morning, but the waves were relatively high., according to a local weather station.

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