12 Badjaos rescued off Sibutu; 7 others missing

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/15 August) – Twelve Badjaos who were aboard three motorized that sank late Tuesday off Sibutu in Tawi-Tawi were rescued by the Philippine Navy, but seven of their companions have remained missing.

Capt. Ma. Rowena Muyuela, Western Mindanao Command information officer, said Friday that a search and rescue mission was ongoing for the seven missing Badjaos.

Muyuela said four of the 12 rescued persons were children.

She said the three boats capsized around 8:00 p.m. Tuesday due to bad weather on their way to Sabah to sell fish, two hours after leaving Bongao town.

Sibutu is roughly 14 kilometers east of Sabah.

Muyuela said the crew of M/V Savina, a bulk carrier traveling from Australia to China, witnessed the incident and immediately contacted Philippine authorities.

She said Task Force 62 of the NFWM dispatched Patrol Gunboat 104 and rescued 12 of the 19 people aboard the three ill-fated vessels.

She added that the rescued passengers were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Bongao town. (MindaNews)