DIVERS RESUMED a search of the waters at the Arade Dam today (Monday) in a private operation commissioned by the Madeira-based lawyer Marcos Aragão Pereira.
The Portugal Resident 10/03/08
"The operation started shortly after 10am near the dam’s level control tower as the information obtained Mr Aragão points strongly to that area of the lake.
The search is being directed by Martin Falkous, who has five divers from Dive Time, based in Lagos, plus two from the Portimão Bombeiros who have joined the operation in their own time.
They have been trained in searching for bodies and were invited to participate by José Paias, who is sponsoring the operations"
"Martin Falkous said that they were looking for a body or body parts. If anything is found, the divers have been told not to bring it to surface but instead mark the spot with buoys for another boat to be called to carry out recovery.
Visibility in the water is very poor and the divers are using touch and feel in their search. With mud being between one and two metres deep at the bottom of the water, the colour changed from a dark green to light brown within seconds of the divers beginning the search."
"Because of these conditions, Martin Falkous has instructed the divers to bring up to the surface any strange objects, or objects out of the ordinary, that they find to be identified.
When divers arrived at the dam this morning, Marcos Aragão Pereira was already there with his assistant Telma Fernandes, and José Paias, one of the partners of SPEC, Lda, an engineering company based in Portimão which is sponsoring 50 per cent of the cost of the operation.
A few minutes later, Heldér Braz, who is in charge of the dam’s monitoring and control system, joined the group as Marcos Aragão Pereira asked INAG, the national water agency which controls all the dams in the country, to allow the divers to go inside the water tower tubs.
This followed the first phase of searches, held in late January and February, when divers found an entrance covered by a metal grate and could not search inside the water tubes leading to the tower.
The system is used to water the fields located in the south side of the dam and the last time they were accessible was in 1998, when the dam was emptied.
The search is expected to continue until the end of the week and Marcos Aragão Pereira has said that if Madeleine McCann’s body is found in the Arade dam, he will reveal all the information related to the tip-off that has led to the search."