MANILA – The captain of the FB Pauline 2 and its crew thanked Philippine Navy (PN) personnel for immediately rescuing them after their boat sustained damage off Nares Bank in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
"Habang nangingisda kami sa West Philippine Sea, nabutasan kami at lumubog kami. Agad po kaming na-rescue ng Philippine Navy gamit ang BRP Emilio Jacinto PS35. Maraming salamat sa ginawang pagtulong at pagsagip sa amin habang nasa laot (While we were fishing in West Philippine Sea, our boat sustained a hole which sank eventually. Before that, we were able to make a call to nearby boats then we were immediately rescued by the Philippine Navy. We are thankful for the rescuers for saving our lives)," Placido Asusina said in a video message on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, 46-year-old Arnel Mangampo, owner of the fishing boat, said the sailors' quick response to their distress call saved the lives of his fellow fishermen.
"Nagpapasalamat na lang po talaga tayo na walang nawala sa mga kasama nating mananagat, dahil na rin sa tulong ng ibang kasamahan at mabilisang pag responde ng Navy (We are just being grateful that none of our fellow fishermen perished because of help from a boat nearby and the immediate response of our Navy," Arnel Mangampo, 46, said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
He added that the fishermen are now recuperating from the stress of nearly losing their lives while out at sea.
"Hindi po muna pinag-uusapan kung kailan ang susunod na laot nila. Nagpapahinga pa sila ngayon at nagpapalakas (We have not discussed yet any schedules for their next trip at sea. They are still resting)," Mangampo said.
He added that the fishing boat is somewhere 300 nautical miles off the shores of Palawan.
On Monday, Naval Forces West (NFW) commander Commodore Donn Anthony Miraflor said a radio report from another fishing boat FB Española was received on Sunday on FB Pauline 2 sustaining "hull derangement" in the area and requires assistance.
FB Española received Asusina's radio message and forwarded it to the NFW before proceeding to the area where FB Pauline 2 was located.
Miraflor said the NFW immediately dispatched the information to all of its naval assets. The offshore patrol vessel BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35) was the first to arrive at the scene on Monday noon as it was patrolling the area.
The ship and its crew immediately helped the distressed fishermen who were all taken aboard and given medical assistance, food, and accommodation.
The fishermen arrived in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on Tuesday noon. (PNA)