My dad disappeared while snorkeling in Bali – I know he survived in the jungle a la Bear Grylls after being washed ashore
THE SON of a missing Briton who was swept out to sea while snorkeling in Bali believes his father is alive and may be using survival skills to survive.
Adam Smith’s father Graham, 68, disappeared eight days ago while swimming in the Blue Lagoon on an unforgettable holiday with his partner Dianne.
Thanks to his love of survival shows such as Bear Grylls, the family believes Graham could survive in the wild after being stranded on a nearby coast.
Having previously worked as a handyman, engineer and lumberjack, Adam, 30, told The Sun his “adventurous” father had all the skills he needed to deal with the surrounding jungle.
Adam fears that his father has been swept to shore with dense jungle and is injured or lost and is struggling to find help.
He said: “He’s a very adventurous man. He’s also quite stubborn. So he would know he can do it.
“He always watches stuff like Naked and Afraid and Bear Grylls type stuff. Completely involved in it.
“There’s an awful lot of land here, some very populated and very touristy, and then there’s a lot of jungle and coastline. So if it was swept away for a few hours, I’m sure it could have gone a long way .
“So that’s obviously our hope. It’s a potential situation.
“But if he is somewhere, there are prickly pears everywhere, it rains every day for about an hour without fail, the waters are really warm and the temperatures are not burning at all.
“So if he’s just sitting on a beach or a rock somewhere, that’s definitely on him, or potentially he’s just stuck somewhere.
“Some have described him as old, but that’s something we certainly won’t describe him. He looked quite young and is definitely in great shape.”
A search and rescue operation was launched after Adam’s mother Dianne failed to spot Graham in the Crystal Lagoon for 20 minutes at around 5.30pm on September 28.
The couple have been together for 36 years and were celebrating their retirement on the trip of a lifetime when tragedy struck.
A resident of the Karangasem Regency resort swam to locate Grandfather but could not find him.
A search party was dispatched at 10:25 p.m., according to Karangasem search and rescue team coordinator Gusti Ngurah Eka Widnyana.
Since then, her anxious family, from south-east London, have joined the search with three of her six sons now on the Indonesian island, alongside Dianne.
Adam said: “My mum doesn’t like going to the sea, she normally decides to relax and just watch my dad in the sea.
“He’s been out snorkeling, which he normally does every year when they go. It was getting a little darker. He had been out for a little while and entered once.
“They were supposed to go out in the mountains on Saturday, and he loves to snorkel, so he wanted to go out one more time.
“Mum said he seemed to be walking away and she couldn’t see him anymore. So she jumped up and tried to get help.
“A local went to get a life jacket and swam around to see where he was, I think he was out there for a bit and was looking around sinking.”
A six-man search and rescue team was sent to the area but failed to find the retired Briton.
Authorities in Bali have now been assisting the family with the search since last week, but said that despite their best efforts, they would no longer be able to engage in the search after a period of seven days.
However, they have now agreed to extend the search for another three days, giving the family a glimmer of hope.
Adam and his siblings attempt to raise money for a private search that will include a helicopter and an expert warrant to search all forest areas.
The siblings also mapped an area of sea, seven by two nautical miles, which they planned to search via helicopter.
Adam said: “They said from the start that they were only legally looking for seven days. It’s just protocol.
“And then they said they were going to extend it for three days, which gave us more hope.
“The official search, the government search, ends tomorrow at 6 p.m. They’ve been really open and supportive, and we’ve been able to use some of their systems.”
When asked if he still believes his father is alive, Adam added: “In my heart, I feel like it’s still a really good possibility.
“You have to look the other way and start looking at all the options in your mind. So you’re not completely living in false hopes.
“But looking at the environment, looking at the kind of continued government support and the possibilities that might arise. I believe he could still be there.
“That’s why we’re really pushing because we don’t want to look back and have regrets if he’s found in a place that we didn’t look for because we didn’t have that helicopter.
“Because we didn’t have that extra manpower or we needed that extra half day. Push it a little further and spread the word a little more.
Local officials have since encouraged snorkelers to be aware of the ever-changing weather conditions in Bali.
Graham’s tragic disappearance comes after a 44-year-old Italian woman miraculously survived a powerful wave on Klungkung Beach in Indonesia in June.
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