Man survives floating in sea for eight hours Print
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 10:17

By BHONG SIMBAJON

A native of Siasi, Sulu survived floating in seawater without life raft overnight for eight hours before he was rescued Monday off Zamboanga City.

Alganim Tampakan was plucked out of the Basilan Strait which separates the islands of Mindanao and Basilan province around 8 a.m. by the crew of an interisland ferry.

MV Anika Gaile-1 — loaded with passengers —  was bound for Isabela City, the capital of Basilan, from the port of Zamboanga when its boat skipper spotted a man in the water near Sta. Cruz isle, waving his hand, apparently in distress and asking for help.

The skipper ordered his crew to reduce speed, check the floating man and rescue him.

The boat maneuvered close and its crew jumped into the water and plucked the man, who was pale and weak.

RMN Radio Zamboanga said the man was interviewed by the boat crew and was later identified as Alganim Tampakan. His first request was water to drink and warm dry shirt as he was shivering after being in the cold water for eight hours overnight.

Interviewed by RMN Zamboanga after arrival at the local port, Tampakan recalled that he boarded M/V Evergreen in Zamboanga City on its way to Siasi around 8 p.m. Sunday night. While the ferry was sailing, Tampakan said he fell asleep. The next thing he remembered was he was already afloat the seawater in the middle of a dark night.

“I took the boat on my way to Siasi... I was bringing my travelling bag containing my personal items. The problem is I fell on the water while asleep ... I could not do anything because I saw the boat sailing far already and I was in the middle of the sea,” Tampakan recalled.

He said the first thing he did while realizing he was in trouble was to strip his shirt and improvise it as a life-saving device and kept his body afloat in the water that is potentially infested with sharks.

He said his mind set was to survive until day time during which he can seek help or swim his way to  the seashore.

Upon rescue, the boat crew gave him new clothes and towel to wrap his body and served him hot noodle soup for him to regain strength.

First aid was also applied by the boat medic to stabilize his health condition.

Reaching the port of Zamboanga, the boat crew turned Tampakan to the Philippine Coast Guard for proper investigation and proper medical check up, before he will be allowed to go home to his hometown in Siasi, Sulu on the next boat trip.