Denpasar – A Japanese tourist, Kikuchi Satoshi (60), tragically lost his life while enjoying the flying fish ride at Tanjung Benoa Beach, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali. He passed away after falling face-first into the water from a height of approximately three meters.
The incident has cast a shadow over the vacation of the Kikuchi family. Satoshi met his untimely demise during their holiday in Bali, accompanied by his wife and three children.
Wayan Simpen, one of the guides from PT Bali Coral Dive and Marine Sport at Tanjung Benoa Beach, speculated that the unfortunate event was caused by adverse weather conditions.
Sudden Strong Wind
As reported by Detik.com, Simpen mentioned that a sudden strong wind occurred while Satoshi was enjoying the flying fish ride on Friday (August 18, 2023).
“Yesterday was overcast. The wind suddenly became strong,” Simpen stated when interviewed by detikBali at Tanjung Benoa Beach on Saturday (August 19, 2023).
Flying fish is an exhilarating experience that allows tourists to feel the sensation of a flying boat in the air. Initially, tourists are instructed to lie down on a rubber boat shaped like a mattress while holding onto a rope.
The rubber boat is initially pulled out into the sea by a motorboat. Gradually, the rubber boat, capable of accommodating two people, is lifted into the air. Tourists then enjoy the sensation of speeding through the air, soaring several meters high.
Simpen emphasized that playing flying fish requires attention to several factors, including clear weather, appropriate wind conditions, and not too high waves in the sea. These precautions ensure the balance of the square-shaped rubber boat being towed by a high-speed motorboat.
2 of Satoshi’s Children Safely Landed
According to Simpen, the flying fish rubber boat can carry two people, including a trained and experienced instructor.
“So, if the wind is strong, we don’t take them (tourists on the flying fish ride),” Simpen explained.
Satoshi and his family arrived at Tanjung Benoa Beach around 10:00 AM WITA. During the first session, two of Satoshi’s children took the flying fish ride managed by PT Bali Coral Dive, completing about two rounds and landing safely.
Guide’s Inexperience Denied
Simpen refuted claims that Satoshi and his children fell during the flying fish ride due to an inexperienced guide.
He attributed the incident to the sudden onset of strong winds.
“Well, when we took off (the flying fish boat flew), it detached (fell). Despite having a guide, controlling it was difficult. We didn’t know (that the wind would suddenly blow so strongly). We didn’t expect (the accident that claimed Satoshi’s life) to happen,” Simpen explained.
Statement from Denpasar Police
Head of Public Relations at the Bali Regional Police, Kombes Jansen Avitus Panjaitan, stated that the incident occurred on Friday at around 10:00 AM WITA right in front of the Grand Mirrage Hotel beach, Tanjung Benoa. During the incident, Satoshi was riding the attraction with his son, Kikuchi Haruki (15).
“At that time, both victims were on the flying fish ride, suddenly detached and fell into the sea face down, unconscious,” Jansen stated in a press release on Saturday.
Jansen explained that on Friday at around 10:00 AM WITA, a Japanese family (father, mother, and three children) were playing the flying fish ride at Bali Coral Tanjung Benoa watersports.
During the first session, the boat driver named Zaini, along with instructor Wahyu, operated the boat to tow the flying fish, carrying two of Satoshi’s children, completing about two rounds and landing safely.
Wahyu’s Fall Followed by Satoshi and Haruki
Subsequently, in the second session, it was Satoshi and Haruki’s turn to take the flying fish ride. After about 40 meters from the shore, the flying fish suddenly veered and tilted to the right.
Wahyu fell off, followed by Satoshi and Haruki, as they lost their grip. They fell from a height of approximately three meters into the water.
“Both victims were brought to the shore, and the staff provided initial assistance by performing chest compressions, but they remained unconscious,” Jensen explained.
Satoshi was then taken to RS Surya Husada Nusa Dua. Unfortunately, Satoshi was pronounced dead.
“The body was taken and entrusted to RS Sanglah Denpasar (Prof Ngoerah Central Hospital),” Jansen concluded.