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rescue efforts 
by Indonesians

Since last Thursday, rescuers have been searching an area of more than 200 sq km south-east of Moyo Island.

This is about a third the size of Singapore.

But rough seas and strong winds in the evenings limit the daily search-and-rescue (SAR) work, said Basarnas spokesman Lalu Wahyu Effendi.

Basarnas, Indonesia's national search-and-rescue agency, is heading the SAR operations.

Mr Wahyu, 35, head of the operations, told The New Paper yesterday: "Yesterday, on the sixth day of the operation, we came up empty-handed. We had no results the day before, too."

But the SAR party, made up of about 70 military, navy personnel, divers, local fishermen and volunteers, had some initial success.

On the first day, rescuers found a fire extinguisher which they believed belonged to the missing aircraft, as Lift (Lombok Institute of Flight Technology) was inscribed on the extinguisher.

The next day, parts of the airplane's glass window and a life vest were discovered.

On Sunday, rescuers found a bag, a sunglass case and a wallet, Mr Wahyu said.

The wallet contained automated teller machine cards belonging to the missing Indonesian flight trainee, Mr Jati Wikanto.

SONAR DEVICES

Most of the items and debris have been found close to Moyo Island or in the open sea, south-east of the island.

But as of yesterday, the missing men have yet to be found.

Each day, the SAR teams scour the seas using a variety of ways, from visually scanning the waters to using underwater cameras, sonar devices and deploying divers.

Mr Wahyu added: "After seven days, we will cease SAR operations.

"But if any of our counterparts or eyewitnesses find new leads, we will redeploy our SAR efforts again."