Volunteer foreign diver falls illBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines – Retrieval operations for the pilots of the plane which crashed in the waters off Masbate were hampered Tuesday, after a foreign volunteer diver fell ill and was rushed to shore.
A radio report said that the German diver was rushed onto shore on a stretcher and would have been taken to a hospital but was brought instead to a decompression chamber in one of the vessels.
Navy Captain Rommel Galang initially suspended retrieval operations but other reports said that divers have resumed their efforts to recover the remains of Captain Jessup Bahinting and Nepalese co-pilot and flight student Kshitiz Chand. He said that they have yet to determine what happened to the diver while under water.
Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas said during an earlier briefing that the pilots’ bodies were harder to reach for divers as they were seated inside the cockpit. He said that the divers had to be careful so as not to move the Piper Seneca plane’s fuselage from its present location.
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo’s body was the first to be recovered from the wreckage on the seabed. He has since been brought back to his family in Naga City.