Five Japanese divers missing off Bali found alive

Fishermen spotted the women clinging to a coral reef in rough waters

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Five of the seven Japanese divers missing off the Indonesian island of Bali since Friday have been found alive, officials say.

Indonesian rescuers had been searching for the group, which includes two instructors, over the weekend.

The seven, all experienced divers, disappeared in bad weather on Friday while exploring an area of mangroves.

Conditions were reported to be bad at the time the group disappeared, with heavy winds and strong rain.

The five were "found atop a large coral reef," Rudi Tjandi, an official from the Bali disaster agency, told AFP.

Nyoman Suarsika, police chief on the island of Nusa Penida told the Japanese Kyodo news agency that the five women were first spotted on a rocky outcrop by local fishermen at around 15:30 (07:30 GMT).

"They are in weak condition," Mr Suarsika said, adding that one of them is "critical."

Officials had no news of the two still missing.

The group had been diving off Nusa Penida, some 20km (12 miles) off the coast of Bali.

They went on two diving trips early on Friday but failed to return after a third trip that afternoon.

Kyodo quoted government officials as saying all members of the party had completed at least 50 dive trips previously, while the instructors were based locally and so knew the area.

Nusa Penida, popular with divers because of crystal clear waters and the opportunity to see rare Ocean Sunfish, is known for treacherous currents. A number of fatal accidents have occurred there.

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