Did Divers Find a Mother Mary Statue in the Indian Ocean?

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CLAIM

A video of a group of divers near a statue of Mother Mary has been shared online with the narrative that the statue was found in the Indian Ocean by the divers while searching for aircraft debris.

It further goes on to say that no one knows how the statue ended up there, but, according to the viral post, it has remained clean for a long time when it should have been covered with algae.

The video has been shared on Facebook by multiple users.

The Quint also received a message on its WhatsApp helpline number.

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TRUE OR FALSE?

Nearly nine years ago, a group of faith-inspired divers, ‘Sea Knights’, helped put a statue of Virgin Mary off the coast of Bohol in the Philippines to stop dynamite fishing. It was hoped that god-fearing fisherfolk will stop the use of dynamite, which will help protect the marine life.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

On breaking down the video in several key frames using the InVid Google Chrome extension, we came across a video report by the BBC in 2018. The report had covered the ‘Sea Knights’ return to the statue of Virgin Mary to see if placing the statue had been successful.

The group revealed that it had taken them almost 11 hours to erect the statue underwater. And, as opposed to the claims made in the viral message, the statue was not clean but was colonised by corals. The group cleaned the statue and laid red rose petals near it.

They also found out that the growth of corals underwater had been healthy ever since the statue was placed. So the claim that the statue was discovered while divers were looking for aircraft debris is completely false and misleading.

The video, which is being circulated on social media, has seemingly been extracted from the BBC report.

The picture on the left shows a screenshot from the BBC report, while the picture on right shows the viral video. 

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