MANILA (Updated 5:30 p.m.) -- Authorities suspended Tuesday the retrieval operations for the two missing pilots in Masbate due to a minor accident.

Major General Eduardo del Rosario said in a press conference in Masbate Tuesday afternoon that one of the foreign tech divers collapsed due to “decompression sickness.”

Decompression sickness, according to, results from a reduction in the ambient pressure surrounding a body. “It results from bubbles growing in tissue and causing local damage.”

Del Rosario said German diver Danny Brumbach is “now in stable condition” and has recovered almost 95 percent.

He said they assessed the ongoing recovery operations after the accident and decided to continue the retrieval tomorrow, Wednesday, “after breakfast.”

The authorities are hoping to finish the retrieval operations by noon Wednesday.

Del Rosario said, however, that the divers are not sure if two bodies are still in the plane. “We can’t assess if the two were there…but it seemed that the pilots were on seatbelt.”

“The bodies were in the cockpit, presumably on seatbelt. There is no opening for them to be removed,” said Del Rosario.

He said Robredo was seen by the diver floating inside the airplane, and his seatbelt was still on.

“The strategy is to lift the plane. The divers have tied one rope to the plane and we will tie another rope to make sure that the plane will be removed,” said the official.

The bodies and the wreckage of the Piper Seneca that crashed Saturday off Masbate were found around 8 a.m. Tuesday, almost three days after the accident.

Robredo, the two pilots, and his close-in bodyguard who survived the crash, Police Senior Inspector Jun Abrazado, were en route to Naga City from Cebu when they attempted but failed to make an emergency landing at the Masbate City airport. The plane instead plunged into the sea, 300 meters away from the airport runway.

The remains of Robredo were recovered Tuesday morning. He is now in Naga City, with his family.

His remains, accompanied by President Benigno Aquino III from Masbate, arrived at the Naga Airport at 12:45 p.m.

The Robredo family asked the public to allow them to mourn the death of the Cabinet official.

Public viewing will start later Tuesday at the Archbishop's Palace in Naga City. (Sunnex)