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10 seafarers rescued off Sabah, Tawi-Tawi

10 seafarers rescued off Sabah, Tawi-Tawi
Roel Pareño - December 27, 2022 |

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Eight Malaysian seafarers and two Filipinos were rescued after their boats capsized in the waters off Sabah, Malaysia and Tawi-Tawi in Mindanao, respectively, on Saturday night. Another Malaysian seafarer was reported missing.

The Naval Forces Western Mindanao said a foreign vessel marked M/V Falcon Triumph was sailing through the waters off Tawi-Tawi when its crewmembers spotted a life raft with four men on board.

The Triumph rescued the victims, which included two Filipinos and two Malaysians.

The navy said another vessel, M/T High Adventure, was sailing along the borders of Malaysia and the Philippines when its crewmembers spotted six men on top of a listing vessel.

The Triumph and the Adventure contacted the Philippine Navy’s Littoral Monitoring Station in Bongao.

Navy and Marine personnel responded and picked up the seafarers, according to Brig. Gen. Romeo Racadio, chief of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi and 2nd Marine Brigade.

Racadio said the Malaysians were crewmembers of the cargo vessel M/V Belait Surita.

He said the Surita, which had nine crewmembers when it left Sandakan for Talabtab in Malaysia, developed engine trouble.

One of Surita’s pipes reportedly exploded, causing it to list.

Authorities have yet to locate the missing crewmember.

The Malaysian seafarers said two of their companions drifted away in a life raft and incidentally joined with two Filipinos, whose unmarked motorized boat encountered bad weather during the voyage.

The motorized boat was headed to Bongao from Tahaw Island in Tawi-Tawi.

The Malaysians and the Filipinos were brought to Bongao, where they received medical attention, clothes and food, Racadio said.