By Lyka Manalo
MABINI, Batangas — The foreign tourist who went missing while scuba diving in waters off this town last Wednesday has been found dead.
Chief Inspector Randy Oliquino, local police chief, said the body of Andrew Kilbride, 49, of Nauru, was retrieved at 12:15 p.m. today by rescue divers.
Kilbride’s body was found 70 meters underwater near the vicinity of Barangay Bagalangit, this town by the search and retrieval teams of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Maritime Police, the Philippine Navy (PN), and volunteer divers.
Oliquino said the victim, who was previously identified as an Australian, is actually from Nauru – a tiny island country in Micronesia, northeast of Australia.
Kilbride and his Irish live-in partner checked in at Aqua Venture Resort in Barangay Bagalangit last Wednesday for a trimix dive training course.
The victim set out to sea with his French dive instructor at 5:45 p.m. that day, but they got separated underwater about 200 meters away from the shoreline.
Oliquino said strong waves that afternoon might have contributed to the victim’s drowning.
It was learned that Kilbride had been staying in Pasig City for six years and operated an internet services-related business.
His remains were taken to the Funeraria Bautista in Manghinao, Bauan town, this province.