MANILA, Philippines --- Strong underwater currents Wednesday delayed efforts to retrieve the remaining two bodies in the wreckage of the light plane that crashed Saturday in Masbate Bay.
Six divers were scheduled to go down to the wreckage of the Piper Seneca at 10:30 a.m. but the dive was called off because the currents made it too risky, explained Naval Forces Southern Luzon chief Capt. Rommel Galang.
Only the remains of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo have been recovered from the plane which lies upside down on a slope about 800 meters from shore at a depth of 180 feet.
If not immediately placed in a decompression chamber, a diver may suffer from paralysis or even death.
Initial symptoms of bends include a tingling feeling on the fingers and feet which quickly spread to the body until a diver is totally immobilized and unconscious.
Witnesses said Brumach was vomiting heavily before losing consciousness after he surfaced.
Aside from the bends, other ailments a diver may experience include nitrogen narcosis which gives a feeling of intoxication while underwater.
Commonly known as "narcs," the diver loses alertness, and fails to monitor his gauges for his air supply and depth level. The remedy to narcs is for his buddy to guide him some few feet up until he recovers consciousness.
Since pressure increases as a diver goes deeper, hyperventilation and equalization may also set in. When hyperventilating, a diver is asked by his buddy to take deep, slow breaths so as not to lose consciousness.
A seasoned diver is also aware that going ahead of their bubbles while heading to the surface may cause embolism, a deadly disease that may cause a lung to rupture and lead to death.
The rule is never overtake the bubbles or swim to the surface in a pace of one-feet-per-second to avoid embolism.
Matt Reed, the British technical diver, and his two dive buddies - American Sheila Cooley and Anna Cu Unjueng, a Filipino - were equipped with high-tech dive gear that included rebreathers, back up air bottles and dive computers. (Aris Ilagan and PNA)