The third day of searching for Honorio “Norvin” Encabo, who has been missing since being swept out to sea following a hiking trip last Sunday, yielded part of his swimwear that was found stuck in rocks beneath the ocean. «
According to professional diver Harry Blalock, after a dive search he did at the request of Encabo’s girlfriend, Marielove Dorig, he found the shredded swimsuit beneath some rocks and boulders.
Blalock said he and his team left Garapan Fishing Base at around 7am on a private boat provided by Dorig and sailed to the “infinity pool” in As Teo where the incident happened. Encabo’s suit was recovered at around 9am.
When they got there, Blalock said there was only one small private fishing boat searching the surface and there were no government boats or searchers yet.
“Marielove wanted me to search the cave first, so I did. There was horrible surge in the cave but I did manage to look through it all. Nothing. I then started a circular search pattern, looking underneath all the boulders and rocks in the area, but didn’t find anything at all. Toward the end of my search I found a shredded swim suit in about 75 [feet] of water. When I surfaced, there was a boat from [Coastal Resources Management] who had snorkelers in the water. I took the swimsuit over to them and turned it in. When we called Marielove, she positively identified the swim suit as [Encabo’s],” he said.
Blalock explained that he received a call last Monday from Dorig asking him if he could dive to search for Encabo. Dorig told Blalock that she needed his help because Department of Public Safety personnel weren’t sending divers down and she wanted a better search.
“I went to the cliffline and met her Monday afternoon. The police boat was in the water, but they were just snorkeling. I asked a couple of policemen on the cliff whether they had divers in the water. They said they were just getting ready to send a couple down. But, as we watched, we could see there were no divers, only snorkelers. I asked the policemen again if they were going to send divers; they said it didn’t look like it. I asked them if I could come along on their boat [on Tuesday] to at least do an underwater search. They said they had to check with the commissioner. [I was later told] I would not be allowed on the boat. They said to leave the search to the professionals,” he said.
After uncovering the swimsuit and realizing there wasn’t much point in continuing the search, Blalock and his team got ready to head back and that’s when they met with a bigger boat from Division Fish & Wildlife carrying men but none of them appeared to be divers.
“I told them what I found and then we headed back, still no sign of the police boat or any divers,” he said.
DPS spokesperson Dre Pangelinan confirmed that it was only at around 4:29pm yesterday that DPS and Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services sent scuba divers to search near the entrance of the “infinity pool.”
According to a press statement from DPS, the search teams on the water yesterday included the U.S. Coast Guard Sequoia vessel with their smaller vessel, DFW, Coastal Resource Management, Commonwealth Ports Authority, DPS, and a personal vessel owned by a local fisherman.
At about 9am, DPS said a volunteer diver (Blaclock) spotted and retrieved pieces of clothing and footwear from the entrance of the pool.
The statement added that DPS and DFEMS had multiple swimmers conducting a search on the water surface throughout the day, as other DPS and DFEMS divers did a search underwater throughout the area neighboring the “infinity pool.”