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Diving, aerial operations for Robredo to resume Monday morning

/ 07:11 PM August 19, 2012

Photo courtesy of Philippine National Red Cross-Masbate

MANILA, Philippines – Surface search and rescue operations will continue all night but diving and aerial operations for missing Interior Secretary Jessie Robredo and his companions have been suspended for the day and will resume Monday morning.

These were the updates posted by Transport Secretary Mar Roxas in his Twitter account Sunday night.

“Surface SAR to continue all night combined with towing the sonar finder thru the area. Diving and air SAR (search and rescue) suspended for the evening and to resume tomorrow morning,” he tweeted.

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He added they have been able to secure Trimix (breathing gas which allows divers to go as deep as 400 feet) for Monday’s diving operations.

Meanwhile, President Benigno Aquino III who flew in to Masbate Sunday morning to oversee the search and rescue operations for Robredo will be staying overnight in the province to continue monitoring developments, the chief executive said in his Twitter Sunday night.

The Fleet Marine Ready Force (FMRF) of the Philippine Navy said it will set up an advance command post in Masbate to help in the rescue operations for Robredo and his companions.

The team will be led by Commodore Alexander Lopez who immediately flew in to Masbate after a mission briefing from Navy Chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama at the Navy Headquarters, said Navy spokesman Colonel Omar Tonsay on Sunday.

The post will serve as on-scene naval contingent in the area, he added.

The logistics support vessel of the Navy, the BRP Bacolod City (LC550), is expected to arrive in Masbate Monday and will serve as command and control center of the FRMF operational staff, Tonsay said.

The BRP Bacolod City will assist to sustain  efforts of search and rescue operations, particularly the replenishment of naval operating vessels and the billeting and decompression chamber of divers; control navy ships included in the operations; and provide support to the combined United States and Philippine Navy hydrographic team who use the portable light scanner, added Tonsay.

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