By Jennifer P. Rendon
A drunk man died after he went diving in Barotac Viejo Iloilo afternoon of March 11.
The body of John Rex Balayo, 29, of Barangay San Francisco, Barotac Viejo, was scooped out of the waters an hour after he failed to surface.
Major Ken Albert Lepsia, Barotac Viejo police chief, said the victim went out with two other companions to fix their improvised bamboo fish pen in the waters of San Francisco village around 2:30 p.m.
His two companions initially advised him against going to the sea, as he was drunk. But Balayo allegedly insisted to go out.
The three of them dived into the water to fix the lower portion of the fish pen which was around 12 meters deep.
Everything went well until the victim’s third dive.
When he failed to resurface after 5 minutes, his companions immediately called the local police station to ask for assistance.
Lepsia said they immediately informed the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the Bureau of Fire Protection to help in the search and rescue operation.
Balayo’s body was seen in the seabed but rescuers failed to retrieve him due to lack of diving gear.
30 minutes since he was spotted, someone scooped him out after the village chief’s brother offered a compressor breathing apparatus.
His body was taken out around 4:40 p.m. but was already unresponsive and was later declared dead.
According to Balayo’s family and friends, he was an expert swimmer and a veteran diver.
But Lepsia said drunkenness may have cost Balayo’s life.