TWO of the three Korean nationals who went missing after diving off Lapu-Lapu City last Sunday were found alive in Camotes Island on Tuesday, July 7.

The Office of the Civil Defense confirmed that Baek Seung Kyoon, 34, and driver Kim Eun, 31, were found by fishermen. Kyoon was previously identified as a diving instructor.

Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Andy Berame said that Eun was found off San Francisco town, while Kyoon was found in a different area.

In an interview, Dennis Atto of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said there was no information about Heo Seung Yung, 45, as of 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Korean Consul General Lee Ki-seog and his assistant Joseph Shin went to Camotes and met with the two divers, Atto said.

Lieutenant James Reyes, spokesperson of the Naval Forces Central, said the BRP Alfredo Pecson left from mainland Cebu to Camotes to pick up the survivors, joined by the families of the two Koreans.

Reyes, who talked with Eun over the phone, said that the woman reportedly had some wounds on her face and neck.

The two divers were in a hospital in San Francisco Tuesday night.

All three divers were reported missing around 3 p.m. last Sunday, July 5, some four hours after they left the New Grand Bleu Dive Resort. The dive shop is located inside the Palm Beach Resort and Apartelle Inc. in Barangay Punta Engaño.

Task Force Grand Bleu headed by the Philippine Navy called off their search at 4:30 p.m. after they learned that the Koreans had been found.

Camotes Island is about 44.2 nautical miles or 82 kilometers away from Lapu-Lapu.

Andy Kim, manager of New Grand Bleu, agreed to an interview Tuesday and clarified that the three technical divers were guests who had borrowed their equipment and were not the dive shop’s own divers.

Kim, who started working in the dive shop last month, said he advised them not to dive last Sunday, but that it was ultimately their call.

“The instructor would be the one to decide because they just borrowed the equipment and they are not our divers,” Kim said.

He said the dive shop’s owner covered the expenses for the search and rescue operation and also paid for the accommodations and meals of the divers’ families.

Meanwhile, a Korean reportedly drowned while in the middle of a dive session near Hilton Wharf on Tuesday.

PO1 Marlu Bretania said that Kwak Han Gyo was with two other Koreans when the incident happened. They had reportedly borrowed equipment from another branch of New Grand Blue Dive Shop.

Gyo was brought to the Mactan Doctors’ Hospital.

In northern Cebu, the group that looked for seven fishermen went home after five days, with no sign of the seven or their fishing boat, the Inday Sweet.

Anna Mae Claro, who owns the missing motorboat, said she told the group to come home because of an incoming typhoon. They were also running out of fuel and food.

One of the seven fishermen reportedly managed to call for help while they were off Gigantes Island last Thursday.

Claro intends to resume the search once the weather improves.

She said she also contacted all her friends in Masbate and Madridejos in Bantayan Island to check if they had seen any of the group.

She appealed for government agencies to send help as well.

Commodore Enrico Evangelista, commander of the Coast Guard’s Central Visayas Command, ordered his personnel to coordinate with hospital authorities as soon as he heard that two of the divers had been found.

He said that search teams from the Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Central Command were joined by private divers.

As for the seven missing fishermen, Evangelista said that the Navy vessel BRP Pampanga joined MCS 3001, a vessel owned by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, in the search.