Heroic Mine Rescue by Navy Divers
Published: October 20, 2008 | 7244th good news item since 2003
This September 16 miners became trapped in a mine shaft in the Philippines. Hope was given up until 23 navy divers let standard operating procedure be standard operation procedure and instead did what needed to be done.
Although trained and specialized in deep-sea saltwater diving the men ventured below sea level for the first time in their lives.
“It was a do or die mission. What we did was not in the books. It was our first time to dive below sea level.”
— Marlon Mansueto, Seaman 1st Quartermaster
Their allowed depth is 120 feet: that day they went 700 feet.
Breathing in the oxygen deprived air in the tunnel they felt their way around. It was hard, difficult, dangerous, and Mansueto was concerned about the safety of his men.
“But the look on the faces of the miners’ families pushed us to go on.”
For heroism and extraordinary service to the public the seamen were awarded the Bronze Cross and the Distinguished Navy Cross.