Costa Rican biologist Priscilla Zamora, 25, disappeared at sea during a diving trip in Colombia Feb. 10.
The scientist, who worked as a project supervisor for the marine conservationist association MarViva, traveled to Colombia Feb. 7 in response to an invitation from Fundación Malpelo, a Colombian environmental organization.
Last Friday, she participated in a diving expedition to monitor fish around MalpeloIsland, a national park some 500 kilometers off the coast of Colombia in the Pacific Ocean, according to MarViva spokeswoman Michelle Soto.
By 6 p.m. that night, after Zamora failed to emerge from the water, a search began with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, local fishing vessels, the Colombian armed forces and a small plane rented by MarViva. At press time, the search continued.
Zamora, a biology graduate from the University of Costa Rica (UCR), has practiced diving since 2000.
“Priscilla loved the ocean above all else; she was passionate about it. The ocean was her world and she was very excited about this expedition,” said MarViva spokeswoman Michelle Soto.