Palau’s Marine Law office had called off on Friday, November 23, its search and rescue operation intended to find the Chinese free diver that was reported missing since November 19 while going on a spearfishing trip in Oispukel Reef near Ngaremlengui.

The country’s search and rescue plan mandates that after five days of conducting search and rescue operation, the government has to cease using its properties but authorities were quick to add that private entities could continue doing their own search and rescue operation.

Chinese free diver Chen Chao, 34, who turned out to be a popular free diver in China, was in Palau with 10 other friends for a five-day vacation.

The Marine Law office had already communicated the family of the missing person.

Chen Chao’s friends and family had expressed their desire to continue the search, saying that they are going to bring in equipment from China intended for the search operation.

In our previous report, marine law officers found a speargun and weight belt believed to be owned by Chen Chao in the area where he was reported missing.

A massive search and rescue operation was conducted by the marine law office in cooperation with state and private entities until the operation had been called off on November 23.

The Marine Law office alone had covered an area of around 1,200 miles for the search.

Chen Chao has been missing for over a week now. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)