Search continues for missing diver in Tubbataha

Personnel of the 2nd Special Operations Unit-Maritime Group aboard Dauntless Boat SOU 007 helps in the search and rescue operation for missing diver Bryan Nazareno along the shores of southern Palawan municipalities. (Photo courtesy of 2nd SOU-MG)


The professional Filipino diver who was reported missing in Tubbataha Reef has not been found yet by the ongoing joint military, maritime police, and civilian search and rescue (SAR) operations.

Lt. Ronne Riel Grimpola, spokesperson of the Naval Forces West (NFW), said Thursday that 43-years old diver Bryan Nazareno remains missing despite the extensive SAR that the Western Command (WESCOM) is leading in the underwater nature reserve.

But he said they will continue the search in Tubbataha with various stakeholders, including the Palawan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO).

A Philippine Navy vessel is seen in Tubbataha Reef to search for missing professional diver Bryan Nazareno. (Photo courtesy of Naval Forces West/WESCOM)

“Ang pinaka-update ngayon, pumasok na ang PDRRMO na siya ng magiging overall na hahawak ng command and control ng operation. Pero wala pa rin talagang balita,” he said.

Grimpola said a civilian agency which has a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that can go further underwater has also offered to help to find Nazareno.

He did not say the name of the private organization.

“Sinusubukan nilang gamitin ito doon ngayon. Meron tayo doon na surface SAR, aerial, at underwater,” Grimpola said.

He added they will continue to search for Nazareno despite the prevailing bad weather condition in Tubbataha Reef.

Meanwhile, the latest to have joined the search was the 2nd Special Operation Unit-Maritime Group (2nd SOU-MG).

Police Col. Greg Togonon, chief of the 2nd SOU-MG, said also Thursday that they have dispatched SAR teams onboard Dauntless Boat SOU 007 on June 5 to search for the missing diver in case he is drifted in the eastern portion of Narra, Sofronio Española, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza, and Balabac.

Nazareno went missing in Tubbataha Reef on June 4 while diving with Palau Sports within the vicinity of Amos Rock.

Amos Rock is located on the north of Tubbataha Reef. It has been described by Divebooker as a dive site whose “wall is covered with thick corals, gorgonians, and purple fans.” It said “the current can become stronger and unpredictable” in the area.

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