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Diving trip turned tragic: American lost consciousness, rescued, died in hospital

By: Paul Lauro - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | April 22,2023 - 08:00 AM

Google maps screenshot of Daanbantayan town map location.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A diving trip to watch thresher sharks in the Malapascua Island in Daanbantayan town, turned into tragedy when a 67-year-old American national died after he was rescued six minutes into the dive.

Police Major Marvin Inocencio of the Daanbantayan Police Station identified the victim as Mark Alan Shea, 67.

Inocencio said that Shea was declared dead on arrival at the hospital in Daanbantayan town where he was rushed after he was rescued by the dive master guide at past 7 a.m. on April 21.

No sign of foul play

Major Inocencio said that they (police), personnel of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the attending physician at the hospital did not see any sign of foul play on the victim’s body.

Inocencio said that the 51-year-old live-in partner of the victim told police that she also had yet to get permission from the victim’s relatives for an autopsy on the victim’s body.

READ: Two young female students drown in pond in Lapu-Lapu

Dive trip in Kimod Shoal

Initial investigation showed that Shea and two other foreigners scheduled a dive trip to Kimod Shoal in Malapascua Islet to watch thresher sharks.

They submitted the necessary papers including a waiver to the “diving resort” in Barangay Logon in Daanbantayan, the police report said.

At 6 a.m., they then headed to the dive spot which was a 30-minute boat ride from the shores of the barangay.

They reached the dive spot a little over 7 a.m. and proceeded to dive at 7:20 a.m.

However, according to the dive master guide of Shea and his companions, six minutes into the dive, the dive master noticed Shea sinking to the bottom of the sea.

READ: PNP: 72 Holy Week deaths due to drowning in 4 regions

Rescued, DOA in hospital

The dive master quickly rescued Shea, who was already unconscious when he was brought to the boat. The dive master then tried to revive Shea by applying CPR. 

And they rushed him to Maya port where an ambulance waited to bring Shea to the hospital.

Police Major Inocencio, in the report, said that when the victim arrived at the hospital in Daanbantayan town, the attending physician and nurses tried to several times to revive him again by applying CPR.

But later, when the doctor could not revive him, he declared Shea dead on arrival at the hospital.

Daanbantayan is a first-class municipality located about 128 kilometers north of Cebu City. 


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TAGS: American national, Daanbantayan, Malapascua

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