Skydiver found floating off SRP-A A +A
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
A SKYDIVER who went missing last Saturday was found dead in the seawaters off the South Road Properties in Cebu City.
Ronald Mendez, 30, of Tagbilaran, Bohol was found by Bantay Dagat volunteers and fishermen floating near a vessel yesterday noon.
Mendez, a licensed aircraft mechanic who was undergoing pilot training in an aviation school in Mactan, Lapu-Lapu, reportedly went skydiving with six other friends last Saturday.
The Cessna 206 they boarded took off from the Mactan International Airport at 8:30 a.m.
Upon reaching the airspace over the South Road Properties, the six jumped off the plane.
Four of them found their landing spot in the SRP, but Mendez and Federico Albacite veered toward the seawaters near Kawit Island.
Boyd Moreno, 25, one of those who landed safely, asked for help from Bantay Dagat volunteers in the area.
Moreno said that when they jumped off the plane, Mendez had a free fall and had no problem with the parachute.
“It could have been due to the weather because that time it was very windy,” said Homicide Chief Jul Muhammad Jamiri of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
According to PO3 Lou Pagara of the Homicide Section, there was confusion among the rescuers who looked for the skydivers.
While Albacite was saved by the Bantay Dagat volunteers and fishermen, others who saw Mendez’s parachute thought he was rescued as well.
By 2 p.m. Saturday, Mendez was nowhere to be found.
Bantay Dagat volunteers and the Cebu Coast Guard searched for him in the seawaters where he was thought to have landed.
At 12:30 p.m. yesterday, Junaito Escabas, one of the volunteers, saw a man floating near a vessel off Kawit Island.
When they checked, the rescuers saw Mendez’s bloated body.
Earlier that day, Mendez’s wife, Hazel, 28, said in radio reports that her husband might have landed on an island and was unconscious.
But hours after his wife’s radio interview, Mendez’s body was found.
The Homicide Section will have to request Mendez’s family that his body be autopsied to check what might have caused his death.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 31, 2012.