ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/24 July) – Naval Task Force 62 personnel have rescued 107 people from a sinking wooden-hulled ferry five nautical miles off Sibutu municipality in Tawi-tawi, Navy officials said Tuesday.
Rear Admiral Armand Guzman, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) commander, said the 107 people – passengers and crew – were rescued around 7 p.m. Sunday.
Guzman said the Naval Task Force 62 based in municipality of Panglima Sugala dispatched the BRP-Dioscoro Papa upon receipt of a phone call from Babylyn Omar, DXGD radio station manager, seeking assistance for a ferry in distress.
Lt. Arthur Angue, BRP-Dioscoro Papa commanding officer, said M/L Lucky Man was already half submerged when they spotted the ferry.
Angue said that most of the passengers were in a state of panic, citing some of them were already on the ship’s roof while the others had jumped into the water.
He said they immediately offered basic needs, including minor injuries treatment, to the passengers and crew of the ship in distress.
The passengers and crew, as well as the cargoes, were transferred on board BRP-Dioscoro Papa and ferried to Sibutu where they reunited with their family members, Angue said.
The M/L Lucky Man was sailing to Sibutu island when its engine conked out after it was battered by big waves, he said. (MindaNews)