A Korean national died while deep sea diving in waters off Balicasag Island in Panglao on Monday afternoon.
Major Andy Corpuz, chief of the Panglao Police Station, said technical diver Jeongjun Choe, 45, was already near the bottom of the sea at around 130 meters underwater when he lost consciousness and drowned.
Two of his companions noticed that he was experiencing problems but were unable to save him as they were also running low on oxygen.
“Silbing kahibaw gud sila na ilang gibilin kay og ilang dad-on maapil man sila’g kamatay kay perte naman nilang lawma. Within two to three minutes kuno og mahutdan ka’ghangin patay naman ka so nag decide sila na ilang ibilin unya balikon nila ,” said Corpuz.
The two Korean nationals and several other divers near the area tried to rescue Choe but failed prompting them to report the incident to the police.
The local government unit (LGU) of Panglao tapped more technical divers to assist in the search and retrieval operations but were only able to start on Tuesday morning.
Corpuz said none of the divers had equipment to conduct search operations at night.
“Gabii naman so dili na pwede mo dive kay lawm man kaayo so hilanglan og technical divers unya wa puy suga,” he added.
According to Corpuz, the team formed by the LGU found Choe’s remains at around 12 noon on Tuesday.
He was found near the area where he was last seen by his companions.
Based on the police’s initial probe, there were no indications of foul play behind his death.
Corpuz noted that Choe was an experienced technical diver and had previously dove in the same area before.
Meanwhile, Choe’s family has been informed of the incident while his remains have been placed under the custody of the authorities.
His family has started to make arrangements for either the cremation or the immediate transport of his remains. (A. Doydora)