13 fishermen, mostly from Surigao Sur, rescued

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/8 December)– Thirteen fishermen, mostly residents of Surigao del Sur province, were rescued by a fishing vessel from this city near the coast of Mati in Davao Oriental on Friday, three days after their fishing boat was battered and eventually sunk by huge waves brought by Typhoon Pablo.

Commander Lued Lincuna, chief of Philippine Navy patrol gun boat 114 BRP Salvador Abcede, said the fishermen arrived at the Makar Wharf here at around 7 p.m. Friday aboard F/B Atlantis 4, which is operated by a local tuna fishing firm.

He said the rescued fishermen were among the 23 crewmembers of F/B Blue fishing vessel, which sank off the coasts of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental at the height of Typhoon Pablo.

Two of the rescued fishermen were from this city, one from Glan town in Sarangani province, one from Lupon in Davao Oriental, two from Sigaboy in Surigao del Sur and seven from the fishing boat’s origin in Mangagoy, also in Surigao del Sur.

“They were immediately brought to the General Santos City hospital for the proper treatment of the wounds they sustained during their ordeal,” he said in an interview over radio station dxES Bombo Radyo.

Citing accounts from the rescued fishermen, Lincuna they drifted into the open sea after their fishing boat was destroyed by huge waves and strong winds brought by the typhoon.

He said 10 of the ill-fated fishing boat’s crewmembers have remained missing and are subjects of ongoing search and rescue operations in the area.

Lincuna said that while their patrol boat was on its way to join the search and rescue operations, they noticed the passing F/B Atlantis 4.

During inspection, he said the boat’s skipper informed them that they were able to rescue and brought onboard the 13 fishermen while it was cruising off the Mati area.

Meantime, four other fishermen were separately rescued in the last three days and brought to this city by locally-based tuna fishing boats, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

Commander Nelbert Aniversario, PCG station chief here, identified the rescued fishermen as Renato Lacayan, Lemuel Gomez and siblings Jerome and Rochel Luchaves.

He said Gomez and the Luchaves brothers were still being treated at the city hospital for various injuries. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)