Is it Possible to Escape from a Water Trap?


Many treasure hunters in the Philippines and some other countries actually encounter the dangerous and infamous "Water Trap". This kind of trap is very common in the Philippines which was setup by the Japanese Imperial Army in WW2 to protect their hidden looted treasures from anyone who attempts to recover them.

Sad to say that it is impossible to escape from a water trap especially when the diggers got caught by surprise while inside the deep bottom hole that they dug. Even if the diggers are good swimmer, the walls will most likely collapse. As a result, the victims will get drowned and buried at the same time.

Most Japanese treasure deposits in the Philippines that were hidden nearby sources of water such as rivers, creeks and streams have a very strong possibility that they are equipped with water traps. So whether you encountered a dangerous sign or not, it is best advised to proceed with extreme caution on such sites.

How the Japanese Imperial Army Designed their Water Traps?

Based on my own experience, the Japanese soldiers will first dig a hole until they are able reach the top surface of the water table. Once done, they will create a pathway from the water source leading it into the hole that they dug. The image illustration below clearly explain the whole setup.

Water trap setup

What usually happens is that, most diggers dug their holes in this manner illustrated by the image below, the water pit has been slightly broken which continuously fill-up the bottom floor of the hole. But at least, the diggers are safe on this kind of situation.

Slightly broken water trap

The most dangerous scenario that already took several lives of treasure hunters is shown in the image below. As you can see, the gap of the wall between the hole and the water trap is very close. At any given period of time the wall may collapse.

Water trap dangerous scenario

The proper way to avoid the water trap and successfully recover the deposit is illustrated by the image below. Dig the hole then tunnel your way through into the item.

Proper way to dig water trap

Recovering an Item from a Broken Water Trap

Unfortunately, some of you had encountered a water trap that got broken and flooded your hole. No matter how many water pumps you use, they are still no match against the continuous water that are being accumulated from the bottom floor. How would you handle this kind of situation? Is there still hope to recover the item on this kind of situation?

Broken water trap

Gladly, there is still hope.

In order for this method to work, you need to find the source or the pathways of the water that has been directed into the hole that you dug. This really involves a lot of work and time because you will be doing trial-and-error in locating the water's pathway. Anyway, those diggers who first encountered the water from the hole may be able to give a hint about which side did the water first came out.

Blocking water path

Assuming that you found the pathway, you need to seal it off. You can use bag of sands, rocks or any objects that can possibly block the water. When it's done, you can now pump out the accumulated water from the hole that you dug and you may now continue digging it.

Moreover, once you got caught by a water trap it's impossible to escape from it. So the only means of escaping such danger is to learn how to interpret signs particularly the "danger signs".