Navy searches for missing diver in Tubbataha Reefs


Naval assets under the operating control of the Western Command (WESCOM) are searching for a diver who was reported missing on June 3 within the vicinity of Amos Rock in the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP).

Initial information from Naval Forces West (NFW) spokesperson Lt. Ronne Riel Grimpola identified the missing diver as Bryan Nazareno.

Grimpola said WESCOM commander Vice Admiral Rene Medina has also ordered aircraft assets to help in the search and rescue (SAR) of Nazareno in the marine park.

“Nawala siya within the vicinity of Amos Rock in Tubbataha around 4 p.m. ng Monday,” Grimpola said.

He said they activated the Naval Task Group (NTG) immediately to assist in the SAR with BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF-16), BRP Federico Martir (PC-385), an Islander aircraft, and an AW109 helicopter on standby.

Grimpola added they received the report about the missing diver around 9 p.m. on the same day.

“Nandoon ang BRP Ramon Alcaraz, andoon si BRP Federico Martir, aboard din doon iyong Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) namin,” he said.

Other reports reaching Palawan News said Nazareno was part of the underwater photography group of Scott Tuason that went to Amos Rock in Tubbataha.

Amos Rock, which is located on the north of Tubbataha Reefs, has been described by Divebooker as a diving site whose “wall is covered with thick corals, gorgonians, and purple fans.”

It said “the current can become stronger and unpredictable” in the area.

Tubbataha Reefs in the Sulu Sea is a marine protected area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that covers a total area of 97,030 hectares.

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