Fu Wanke (left) and boat captain Lu Yunian (right) who were rescued on August from a rubber craft that drifted to the shores of Barangay Canipaan in Rizal town. (Photo courtesy of Bataraza MDRRMO)

The Chinese nationals aboard a small rubber craft that washed ashore on the coast of Barangay Canipaan, Rizal town in southern Palawan on Thursday came from a troubled fishing vessel apparently caught by a bad weather in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

P/Major Starky Timbancaya, chief of the Rizal Municipal Police Station (MPS), said in an update report that the fishermen’s mother ship had encountered extreme weather forcing its crew to abandon it and escape using a rubber raft.

Local rescuers pull a rubber boat with the body of one of the Chinese nationals. Two perished when their mother ship from Hainan encountered strong winds and waves. (Photo courtesy of Bataraza MDRRMO)

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Two of the Chinese nationals, one of whom was reported to be the fishing boat’s captain, survived while two others were already dead when they were found Thursday.

He identified the two who survived the ordeal as boat captain Lu Yunian and Fu Wanke. Those who died were identified as Li Bang Lai and Qin Tong. Another who was missing after failing to make it on the rubber craft was Fu Wan Sheng.  

According to Timbancaya, the group had been floating on the high seas since the mishap happened on August 1. They reportedly left Hainan on July 9 . He said that based on the survivors’ account, another crew member of the fishing boat was lost at sea after failing to make it to their boat during their escape.

“Napilitan sila lumipat sa small rubber boat. Out of five fisherman isa hindi na nakasampa sa small boat. Nawala sa lakas at malalaking alon. Yung isang namatay hindi marunong lumangoy, nalunod pero naiakyat pa nila sa small boat.  Yung isa posible daw pumalo or humampas ang ulo sa debri or part ng mother boat, dumugo ang tenga at ilong namatay,” Timbancaya said.

The remains of the two Chinese nationals were still at the Bataraza District Hospital as of this writing. Authorities are still completing the investigation on the incident.

This is a developing story.

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covers the police beat and other law enforcement agencies in the province. Her interest includes traveling and photography.