Surgeon-cave diver dies in Enchanted River

Posted at 06/18/2014 7:28 PM | Updated as of 06/19/2014 7:11 PM

CEBU - A Cebuano cave diver died after failing to come out of the Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur on Tuesday, authorities said.

Dr. Alfonso Amores, along with other professional divers, went there supposedly to put safety measures for a scheduled television shoot featuring the Enchanted River.

According to Andy Berame of Lapu-Lapu City's Task Force Kalikasan, he last saw Amores last Thursday when they had their usual night diving in Mactan. He said he even helped Amores pack his diving gear for Surigao.

He said the last time they went to the Enchanted River together was in November last year.

"He was excited because diving in Enchanted River is always a challenge, it's never easy. When you get to get out from there, it's already a big accomplishment for us divers," Berame said.

He said the entry to the cave is small that it only fits one person at a time, but it is not difficult to enter since the current leads you inside. The cave is as huge as two basketball courts.

The hardest part in diving at the Enchanted River is getting out of the cave, he said.

"The water does pull you back to the cave. You'd be lucky if the current is not that strong."

Unfortunately, Amores failed to come out of the cave on Tuesday morning.

Berame said Amores' body was retrieved 40 meters deep, 8 hours later.

His body is expected to be brought back to Cebu on Wednesday night.

Amores' brother, Lapu-Lapu City Vice Mayor Mario Amores, immediately went to Surigao del Sur upon learning of the incident.

Amores' wife is expected to come home from the United States.

Amores, a reconstructive surgeon, was a licensed cave and scuba diver trained in the US. He was an environment advocate, particularly on caring for the ocean.

A resident of Lapu-Lapu City, he trained the city's Task Force Kalikasan which is in charge of monitoring illegal activities in the sea. He also spearheaded the creation of sanctuaries around Lapu-Lapu City.