ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 13 August) – Seven Chinese fishermen were rescued early Wednesday when their vessel sank after it caught fire off Mapun, Tawi-Tawi, a Philippine Coast Guard official (PCG) disclosed.
Lieutenant Senior Grade (Lt.SG) Jomark Angue, Southwestern Mindanao Coastguard District spokesman, said the Chinese were rescued by local fishermen shortly after 3 a.m. when the Coastguard Station in Mapun flashed an alarm upon receiving report that a fishing vessel “is in distress, on fire.”
“The vessel of the Chinese already capsized when they were rescued,” Angue said.
He added that the rescued Chinese fishermen “are now on transit” since the fishing vessel that rescued them is home-ported in Palawan although it is fishing in Tawi-Tawi.
Angue said the identities of the rescued fishermen “cannot be ascertained as of now” since the crew of the Palawan-based fishing boat are having difficulty in communicating with them due to language barrier.
“They don’t know how to speak English,” Angue said of the Chinese.
He said they are expected to arrive by midnight in Palawan and “the coastguard and government agencies in Palawan will be the ones to conduct the investigation” on the circumstances surrounding the incident.