The 31 fishermen rescued by the Philippine Navy (PN) at Nares Bank in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) have arrived in their hometown Tuesday noon.
Naval Forces West (NFW) public affairs officer LTJG Edward Francis Niño Salceda told Palawan News on May 25 that the fishermen arrived in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro aboard BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS 35) around 12 noon today.
They were turned over to the Municipal Health Office (MHO) upon arrival for proper disposition
“Kaninang 12 noon nakarating ang barko natin na PS 35 sa Mindoro at sila na rin ang nag-facilitate ng turnover ng mga na-rescue natin doon sa MHO. Nandoon din ang ating PNP at since walang pier ay sinalubong sila ng maliliit na barko, inilipat sila from PS35,” he said.
With the permission of boat captain Placido Asusina, Salceda said they were not able to tow the fishing boat due to the damage in its hull.
“Itong FB Pauline 2 ay sadly hindi na kayang i-salvage dahil masyado nang nakalubog, hindi na safe hilain. Nag-decide na lang ang kapitan ng barko na kunin na lang ang mga mahahalagang gamit, mga equipment at personal belongings. Ang FB Pauline ay pinalubog na lang at magiging artificial coral na lang,” Salceda said.
On Sunday, the NFW rescued the distressed fishermen after receiving a radio signal from the fishing boat F/B Española through its boat captain Jeofel Alipustain that another vessel named F/B Pauline 2 needed rescue as it was sinking.
He said NFW immediately dispatched two naval ships PS 35 and LS 551 that were also within northern Palawan to render assistance.
“Initially, ang nakarating doon [sa area] ay ang FB Española at noong nakita nila na may lumulubog ay binigay nila ang information sa NFW. Gladly, mayroon tayong dalawang barko sa northern area ng Palawan na nagpapatrol at that time. Inatasan sila na pumunta doon,” Salceda said.
He added that the navy personnel also provided food and other neccesities of the fishermen while in their custody.
“Pinakain natin sila at binigyan ng maayos na damit [dahil] SOP po ‘yan ng lahat ng naval boats na kapag may narescue. Ang tubig maliban sa nakakalunod, ang nakakamatay at delikado d’yan ay ang lamig,” he added.