JAKARTA: Seven Japanese tourists were missing after leaving for a scuba diving trip in waters off the Indonesian island of Bali, police said Saturday.
The group disappeared after heading out on a speedboat to Nusa Lembongan, a small island off the southeast coast of the popular resort isle, Bali police spokesman Hariadi told AFP.
"Seven Japanese tourists went missing after a diving activity in the area on Friday," he said.
"We have sent out rescue boats and a helicopter this morning to comb the beaches and surrounding areas to look for them as well as their speedboat. So far, we have found nothing," he added.
It is not yet clear if the group got into trouble once they entered the water, or if they were on the boat.
"Our priority is to find them first. We don't know if they had experienced engine trouble, strong currents or bad weather conditions," Hariadi said.
Yasue Katsunobu, the deputy consul general of Japan in Denpasar, confirmed that the missing were Japanese and he was "awaiting results of the search".
Nusa Lembongan is a popular scuba diving spot is part of Coral Triangle, widely considered the world's richest underwater wilderness.
It across six nations between the Indian and Pacific oceans - Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. -AFP