Family of Gravesend man who went missing snorkelling in Bali fundraise for private search mission

  • Watch: ITV News Meridian's Charlotte Wilkins learns more about the search to find Graham. 

The family of a man from Kent who went missing while snorkelling on holiday in Bali have started a fundraiser to pay for the search to find him.

Graham Smith, 67 from Gravesend was visiting the Indonesian island with partner Dianne, to mark his retirement.

The father of six, and grandfather of 11, went missing while snorkelling at Blue Lagoon beach in Padangbai in the east of the country twelve days ago, at around 5pm on 28 September.

The search for him by Balinese officials has ended and the family is desperately trying to extend the mission.

Graham pictured with his partner Dianne and three children. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Graham's family want to raise money to fund a private search mission and have set up a JustGiving page calling for donations.

So far they have raised over £21,000 to pay for a private search, including the hire of a private helicopter, in the hope of finding him.

Posting on their fundraising page the family said: "We are blown away by the immediate support and love by all of our family, friends and strangers, that are not so strange to us now.

"Our hearts are a little bit warmer and hope a little bit brighter to bring our Dad home. Because of you we now have the full use of the search helicopter.

"Even though we have reached our incredible target, the more we raise the more boats and man power we can resource, which can also further widen our search area and any other hiccups/or possibly open up more search options.

Commenting on the continued search, Graham’s son, Adam Smith, said: “The official search with the Indonesian government ended on Friday.

"There were six teams involved. So they had already gave us an extension from their legal 7 day search.But since then we’ve been by ourselves which is why we started to fundraise.

“There isn’t some magical ‘A team’ that comes out of nowhere. Even though you think from films that there is. But there really isn’t!

“Every day gets harder and harder because we just think 'where are you?’.

“We’re still positive, but every day gets worse.”