Divers fail to recover new bodies in Cebu tragedy
MANILA - Divers failed to find more bodies on Sunday, which means the death toll in the Cebu sea mishap last week still stands at 80, while around 40 remain unaccounted for.
"They (divers) were not able to recover a body today... The diving is getting harder and harder each day," Lt. Cmdr. Noel Escalona, operations officer of the Naval Forces Central, said.
"Based on the feedback of the divers, it’s very dark underneath...They are searching but there are a lot of debris (inside the ship) floating and they have limited time of about 25 to 30 minutes inside," he added.
Divers have not recovered bodies for three straight days although they expect to continue the search on Monday.
"They're having difficultly searching the innermost part. There are a lot of bags, luggage, mattress foams inside the ship. They are having difficulty clearing the area,” Escalona said.
He also said there is a need for more technical divers, noting that the team, composed of 15 members, is growing tired after a week’s operation.
While the Navy and the Coast Guard have qualified divers, Escalona said not all of them are capable of diving at a depth of 160 feet.
"We need more divers because our divers are already tired, they've been diving for a week already. Para silang bag ng tsaa na sinasawsaw sa tubig," he said.