ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/05 November) – Philippine Navy personnel rescued a foreign couple and their daughter aboard a yacht in distress in the Sulu Sea, a coast guard official said Monday.
Rescued aboard M/V Iroisez-II SN were Frenchman Gino Wattier, 62, his African wife Kamaria Nassabia Adoudou and their eight-year-old daughter, Baraka.
Lieutenant Commander Elizer Dalnay, Zamboanga Coast Guard Station (ZCGS) chief, said they were rescued around 6 p.m. Saturday by Navy men on patrol in the Sulu Sea.
The family and their yacht were turned over to the Headquarters Support Company of the Army’s 4th Special Forces (Riverine) Battalion in this city for purposes of providing assistance and security, Dalnay said.
Investigation showed that the yacht drifted into the Sulu Sea after its engine conked out while the family was returning to Africa from a holiday vacation in Tahiti, he said.
Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean.
Tahiti is the economic, cultural and political center of French Polynesia.
Personnel from the Riverine Battalion accompanied the family on Monday to the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation regional office to seek clearance since they intend to stay for two to three days in this city purposely to repair the yacht’s engine, Dalnay said. (MindaNews)