Navy medics airlift Occidental Mindoro fisherman Ignacio Venturina to Puerto Princesa City for medical attention. (Photo from Naval Forces West)

A Filipino fisherman who experienced a medical emergency was rescued by the BRP Davao del Sur at Tizard Bank in the West Philippine Sea, the Naval Forces West (NFW) said over the weekend.

The NFW said that during a routine patrol in the contested area on November 29, the BRP Davao del Sur (LD 602) received a distress call at approximately 2:30 p.m. from the Filipino fishing boat Athan 3.

The captain of the boat reportedly requested emergency medical attention for crew member Ignacio Venturina, 49, of Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro, who was suffering from extreme body weakness, poor speech, and paralysis of his upper and lower extremities.

In response, the NFW deployed BRP Davao Del Sur, which was conducting a sovereign patrol mission in the WPS, to assist the the crew of Athan 3, monitored near Tizard Bank. A rendezvous was arranged with the fishing boat near Kota Island.

Upon meeting, Venturina was transferred to the BRP Davao Del Sur, where he received initial medical care from the ship’s medical officer. His condition was stabilized before a medical evacuation operation was initiated.

Venturina, accompanied by his son and brother, was subsequently evacuated to Puerto Princesa City by BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PS 15) from Kota Island. The ship reached the vicinity of Ulugan Bay on December 1.

Following this, Venturina was airlifted by a naval helicopter from BRP Gregorio del Pilar to Antonio Bautista Air Base (ABAB). From there, he was transported by a Navy ambulance to the Ospital ng Palawan for further medical treatment. This swift and coordinated response highlights the readiness and efficiency of the Philippine Navy in handling emergency situations at sea.

“Our Navy deployed here in WESCOM is dedicated to safeguarding the well-being of individuals at sea. This operation underscores our commitment to swiftly respond in times of maritime emergencies,” said Commodore Alan Javier, the NFW commander.

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