Japanese Dies Doing Water Sports in Bali

The Bali Police and the State News Agency Antara report that a Japanese national has died in a “flying fish” watersport mishap at Tanjung Benoa, South Bali. 

Satoshi Kikuchi (60) was being towed behind a speed boat on a flying fish with his son, Haruki Kikuchi (15) when both men slipped off the inflatable contraption and fell into the ocean in front of the Grand Mirage Hotel.

The eldest Kikuchi died in the accident, while his son suffered a minor wound to his left forehead.

Police spokesman Commissioner Jansen Avitus Panjaitan said the accident happened on Friday, 18 August 2023, at around 10:00 a.m. “At that point in time, the two victims were on a ‘flying fish’ ride when they fell into the ocean in a prone position and rendered unconscious,” said Jansen. The spokesman for the Bali Police explained that the two Japanese were on holiday in Bali, staying at a hotel in Kuta at the time of the incident.

Police said the flying fish attraction was operated by Bali Coral Water Sports on Tanjung Benoa and towed by a power boat operated by a boat driver, Zaini, and an instructor, Wahyu, who was on board the flying fish accompanying the two passengers. The two Japanese were visiting the attraction in a family group of five. Two group members had already completed their flying fish experience before the fateful session that claimed the life of Satoshi Kikuchi.

Officer Jansen explained: “After they were 40 meters offshore, the flying fish veered to the right, tipping the instructor and the two Japanese into the water. The two Japanese lost their grip on the ‘flying fish’ when they were about three meters above the water.”

Following the accident, several Bali Coral Water Sport staff members retrieved the two Japanese from the ocean waters and brought them to shore. CPR was provided to the elder Kikuchi, who did not regain consciousness. The 60-year-old Japanese was rushed to the nearby Surya Husada Hospital in Nusa Dua, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The cause of the man’s death has yet to be determined. The Bali Police and Directorate of Water and Air Police (Ditpolairud) are investigating the incident and have said that preliminary investigations do not indicate any negligence or wilful intent in connection with the fatal mishap.

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