Search continues for missing diver in Tubbataha Reef

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 08 2019 05:51 PM

Bryan Nazareno was last seen Monday, June 3, in Amos Rock in Tubbataha Reef. He was reported missing the next day.

MANILA—The search continues for the diver who has been missing for 5 days while exploring Tubbataha Reef in Palawan, authorities said on Saturday.

Bryan Nazareno was last seen Monday, June 3, in Amos Rock in Tubbataha Reef. He was reported missing the next day.

Western Command's (Wescom) Joint Task Force Integrated Crisis Action Response to Emergencies (I-CARE) met Saturday to discuss the results of search and rescue operations for Nazareno.

"According to the latest nilang rescue operations, zero sighting po kay Bryan. Wala pong body na lumutang, na floating and there was no equipment underwater that was sighted," said Lt. Col. Stephen Penetrante, public affairs officer of Wescom. 

(According to the latest rescue operations, there's zero sighting of Bryan. There was no body found floating and there was no equipment underwater that was sighted.)

Photos taken by Nazareno's fellow divers before their jump-off showed the missing diver filming reefs. They said there was no indication that he was experiencing problems while diving.

"Nagsa-sign pa siya ng OK. Tapos tinitingnan niya pa 'yung camera niya, underwater camera. There was no sign of panic or whatever danger kay Bryan. Ang tawag nga nila doon chill. Cool na cool si Bryan sa baba," Penetrante said.

(He was signaling OK. Then he was looking at his underwater camera. There was no sign of panic or whatever danger from Bryan. They call him "chill.")

"At nakikita naman doon 'yung fin niya, relaxed 'yung fins niya. Walang nahulog na equipment. So, kaya nasasabi nila is mysterious."

(His fin was relaxed. No equipment fell out, which is why they say his disappearance is mysterious.)

Nazareno's fellow divers noticed he was missing during their first decompression stop, according to his wife, Karrots.

"There's like a safety procedure wherein you have to decompress at certain levels, right? So at that first decompression stop where everybody was, that's where they all met and it was only like not even 5 minutes, not even 3 minutes, maybe in a span of 1 minute, that's when they realized that he was no longer in the group," she said.

Karrots Nazareno said she still hopes her husband is alive.

"He's been diving for about 20 years. He has about 600 dives under his belt. At least me, I’m operating on the assumption that he's still alive and he's floating somewhere. Hopefully, a fisherman picked him up. So we're communicating with local communities along the seaside, hopefully they have seen something," she said.

The air, underwater and sea surveillance of the search and rescue task force were underway at the time this story was posted.

Nazareno's family also urged those who could have seen him to coordinate with authorities. — Report from Diana Lat, ABS-CBN News