Three Philtech deep-sea divers to retrieve more bodies from M/V Catalyn B

January 11, 2010 10:52 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 11 –Three deep-sea divers from Philippine Technical Divers (PhilTech) will lead 20 other divers from Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in retrieving the remaining bodies of passengers trapped in the wreckage of M/V Catalyn-B, which sank off Libones Island on Christmas Eve.

Lt. Commander Armand Balilo, PCG spokesman, said one of the three Philtech divers was Alex Santos, who conducted trainings on technical diving in Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and other Asian countries.

The three divers would render their service for free.

The three divers would be joining the 20 members of the PCG Special Operations Group (SOG)as the PCG resumes its retrieval operations on Tuesday.

“PhilTech said they accepted the job because they believed it was their moral obligation and for this assignment, they would only be paid for their equipment. This would be at minimum cost to San Nicholas Shipping Lines, who hired them,” said Balilo.

San Nicholas is the owner of the wooden-hulled M/V Catalyn B.

Balilo said this would be the first time the PCG divers would be working with Santos.

A PCG diver died of heart attack on Friday afternoon after retrieving two bodies.

The diver, Petty Officer 3 Arman Bonifacio, 42, died on arrival at the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center at 3:40 a.m. Friday.

Commodore Luis Tuason Jr., PCG-National Capital Region-Central Luzon district commander, said Bonifacio was a Japan International Cooperation Agency and a Navy trained diver.

He was part of the search and rescue operations for the affected families of the recent typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

He joined the PCG search and rescue missions for the still 16 missing passengers and crew of the M/V Catalyn-B.

Lieutenant Commander Marco Gines, PCG-SOG deputy chief, said this was the first time he had lost a man in the search and rescue operations in eights years. (PNA) RMA/JES

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