Lord God the father and creator of heaven and earth give your hand to Sec. Jesse Robredo and to the pilots of airplane for their safety and hopefully the rescue team they will found alive and safe. You are the most powerful in the world and nothing impossible to you. save the life of the pilots and the dilg sec. We pray in the name of Jesus your son. Amen.
Divers searching depths of up to 285 feet for DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo and to the Pilots of airplane. Divers searching for the plane of DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo are probing depths of up to 285 feet, and face a host of dangers from diving that deep. Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas, who has been posting updates on the fruitless search so far, says that divers are searching in waters from 131 to 285 feet, and are being advised not to stay underwater more than 10 minutes to avoid nitrogen narcosis.
“Search area has depths of 40 to 87 meters. Human Scuba can only do 10 minutes at 40 meters (131 feet) before nitro narcosis,” Roxas tweeted Sunday morning, referring to a condition in which divers experience an effect akin to tipsiness from alcohol. The diver’s judgment is imparied, endangering himself and any dive companions.
In fact, according to experienced divers contacted by GMA News Online, divers can stay in water that deep for as long as 30 minutes with the right equipment and training.
“You cannot dive that deep with just air, you need mixed gases,” says dive instructor Chen Mencias.
Technical diver Dave Dy, who is certified to explore shipwrecks, says ten minutes do not give a diver much time to search, and advises that the scuba divers involved in the search breathe mixed gases and bring multiple tanks to enable a longer time underwater and increase the chances of finding the plane fast. But deep-water diving takes specialized training.
“It is possible to get out of deep water fast and safely using a blend of gases (in the scuba tank),” says Dy. “But the deeper one dives, the greater the chance of narcosis.”
A diver who dives that deep risks not only narcosis but bends or decompression sickness, which can cause paralysis or death, according to Dy.
Compression divers, or local fisherfolk who use improvised equipment to stay underwater for long periods of time, were reported to be assisting in the search on Saturday. “That’s even more dangerous,” says Dy.
Most Filipino divers use feet as a unit of measurement when referring to depth.
Aside from Robredo, the two others missing are veteran pilot and flight instructor Jessup Bahinting and his Nepali co-pilot Kshitiz Chand. Bahinting is also the chief executive officer of the Mactan-based aircraft rental company and flying school Aviatour Air, which owns the plane that crashed. According to Chand’s Facebook page, he graduated from Aviatour Flight School in 2011 and identified himself as a commercial pilot.
Growing search and rescue effort
The US Navy has also offered the services of a Fleet Survey Team, composed of hydrographers who can collect and analyze ocean data in the area to assist in the search.
A portion of the right wing of the Piper Seneca four-seater was found Saturday evening. The wings of the plane contain the fuel tanks, so earlier reports that a fuel tank was discovered by fishermen Saturday night could be referring to the same debris. - Howie Severino/Carmela Guanzon Lapeña, GMA News