29 November 2005

Philippine fishermen rescue German divers adrift overnight

Three German divers spent the night at sea before they were rescued off the island of Limasawa, Southern Leyte yesterday noon.

The foreigners were identified as Holger Holly Klopper, 40, a diving instructor; Phillip Haungartner, 35, and Jurgen Undanaiar, 35.

All three were guests at the Flower Beach Resort in Barangay Virgin, Anda, Bohol.

They hired a pumpboat so they could go scuba diving at 6 a.m. last Friday.

The man operating the pumpboat began to panic when the three failed to resurface from about 80 feet deep, knowing that their tanks were good for only 45 minutes.

He immediately reported this to the owners of Flower Beach Resort, who in turn sought help from the Anda Police Station.

A Sikorsky helicopter from the Philippine Air Force (PAF) was sent to conduct search and rescue operations around the coast of Anda, but returned after nearly two hours to the Mactan Benito Ebuen Airbase without the three.

Central Command spokesperson Jefferson Omandam said the crew sent out to rescue the tourists found no more signs that they were still in the area, which was why they pulled out.

Pumpboats of the townsfolk were also dispatched to search for the three, but to no avail.

Six fishermen from Limasawa spotted the three Germans adrift about noon yesterday and immediately brought them to shore.

None of them was injured, though they appeared exhausted from swimming all night.

Senior Insp. Magdaleno Mendez Jr. of the Bohol Provincial Police Office said the waters in Anda faced Mindanao and that it was often windy in those parts.

The resort, which is owned by a German and his Filipino wife, was grateful to the fishermen and served them lunch.

Anda is about 95.3 kilometers from Bohol's capital, Tagbilaran.

Source: www.asiadivesite.com


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