Search for missing diver called off after 72 hours

DEPARTMENT of Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero said they called off the search for 65-year-old John J. Jones 72 hours after he was reported missing.

DPS and the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard, launched a search for Jones on Nov. 18, 2018 after he was reported overdue from a dive at the Grotto.

Guerrero said it is standard procedure to call off a search after 72 hours.

 There was no sign of him  or any of his gear, he added, referring to Jones who is still classified as missing.

His family and other parties have been notified that all search efforts have ceased, Guerrero said.

 Jones was an employee of the Federal Aviation Administration and was part of a task force deployed to the CNMI to help repair Saipan airport after it was damaged by Typhoon Yutu.

He was last seen outside the Grotto and was with three other dive companions.

According to them, Jones motioned 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 Jones was no longer with them.

The companions returned to the surface, notified the Grotto security to call for emergency help, changed their tanks and went back into the Grotto to search for Jones until DPS arrived.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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