Sonar scanner deployed to look for missing soldier off Samal Island

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 Apr) – A private company deployed since Monday a sonar scanner to look for the soldier who went missing after a proficiency dive at Angel’s Cove in Talikud Island in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS).

Maj. Ezra Balagtey, spokesperson of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), said during the AFP-PNP press conference at the Task Force Davao headquarters on Wednesday that the company – Wind and Wave, a subsidiary of AYP Holdings Inc. – also deployed technical divers who joined the 33 others in scouring the diving spots in Samal Island.

Aerial surveys have been conducted over the shorelines of neighboring areas such as Davao Oriental, Davao City, and Davao del Sur using UH-1D helicopter, according to Balagtey.

Personnel from the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, Tactical Operations Group, Task Force Davao, and Philippine Coast Guard have extended support in the search and rescue operations.

Balagtey said a group of technical divers from the central office of the Philippine Navy arrived on Tuesday to assist the search and rescue teams who are conducting underwater, surface, and aerial monitoring since Saturday.

Five days since the disappearance, he said they could not speculate what happened to the officer, most especially during early Saturday’s proficiency dive with 10 others at Angel’s Cove, a diving site off Talikud Island which is located southwest of the main Samal Island.

The identity of the soldier has not been revealed upon request of the family.