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February 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 44, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Divers Adrift Eight Hours in the Philippines

from the February, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Many Undercurrent readers are familiar with Apo Island and its population of green turtles, just a short boat ride from Dumaguete, Dauin, on the island of Negros Oriental in the Philippines. So it will be a shock to hear that on January 29 two divers, Canadian Matthew La France, 41, and an American, Sway Rawla, 30, became separated from their dive boat and drifted eight hours at sea.

They had surfaced at a prearranged spot to find no sign of their boat and they drifted at the surface in the Bohol Sea until 10.26 pm, when the crew of a passing cargo vessel, the MV Fortune Gold, heard their whistles and cries for help and rescued them nearly 12 miles from Apo Island. The strong current would have carried the two farther south to the Mindanao Sea.

The Philippine Coast Guard is investigating and has summoned both the boat driver and the operator, Harold Biglete. La France, a dive instructor and coowner (since 2017) with Dumaguete Divers, said that the two had attempted to swim back to Apo Island.

Other popular dive resorts in Dauin, include Atlantis, Atmosphere, Liquid Dumaguete, Mike's Dauin Beach Resort and Scuba Ventures. We'll tell you more in the next issue.

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