Search for missing diver continues

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The search continues for 65-year-old John J. Jones, who remains missing since going on a morning dive last Sunday.

Police and personnel of the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services continued the search for the Federal Aviation Administration employee who went missing after a dive at the Grotto last Sunday with three other companions.

The Department of Public Safety has yet to issue an official statement of the search but, according to a credible source inside the department, personnel of both DPS and DFEMS spent the entire day yesterday and last Sunday searching for Jones.

DPS and DFEMS personnel combed the entire Grotto pool and even beyond the cave as there is a small opening that leads out into the open ocean.

The source said that the search would continue and the Grotto remains closed as the search continues.

In a press release from DFEMS Sunday, the victim’s companions reported that the victim motioned to them that he was running low on air, but showed no signs of distress and was still OK.

While entering back into the Grotto, the companions turned around and noticed that the victim was no longer with them. The companions returned to the surface, notified the Grotto security to call for emergency help, changed out their tanks, and went back to the Grotto to search for their companion until DPS arrived.

DFEMS said it received a call from DPS 911 about an overdue diver at the Grotto at 10:30am last Sunday.

At 10:30am Rescue-1 and Forestry-1 from the Susupe Fire Station, Medic-2 from the Garapan Fire Station were dispatched and the Search and Rescue Unit were activated. DFEMS units arrived on scene at 10:51am.

DFEMS Unit conducted a cliffline search while SARU dove inside Grotto and DPS Boating Safety and Department of Land and Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife conducted a dive search outside the Grotto in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Navy helicopter from HC-25 out of Guam.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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