Navy rescues 107 from sinking boat PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 14:24

BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi – A total of 107 people onboard M/L Lucky Man were safely rescued by BRP Dioscoro Papa (PG381), a navy patrol gunboat, when the motor launch encountered rough sea condition at vicinity 5 nautical miles off Sibutu Island, Tawi-Tawi.

Upon receipt of phone call (from a certain Mrs Babilyn Omar, General Manager of a radio station in Bongao), the Naval Task Force 62 stationed in Panglima Sugala headed by Capt. Yongque, PN, immediately deployed the gunboat to conduct search and rescue operations.

PG 381, amidst the strong waves and risk of lives, sailed toward the area.  According to Lt. Arthur Angue PN, commanding officer of the gunboat, the condition of the sea made the rescue operations daunting. However, this did not prevent them to continue sailing and carry out their mission as many lives were in danger.

Most of the passengers were in a state of panic when the navy boat arrived in the area at around 7 p.m. since M/L Lucky Man is already half submerged and the water started coming in as well as the engines had malfunctioned. Some were already on the roof and others jumped into the water.  The Navy personnel transferred all passengers and other cargoes onboard the gunboat and offered basic needs to include treatment of minor injuries.  All passengers and crew were brought to Sibutu Island and later reunited with their respective families anxiously waiting for the safe arrival of their loved ones.

According to Rear Admiral Armando L. Guzman,  commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao, the recent search and rescue operation is a manifestation of their continued commitment of ensuring safety at sea in the whole Western Mindanao.  He added that this year alone, they have by now rescued a total of 414 lives in different occasions to include the January 1 rescue of F/B Kent-Ford2, a fishing boat lost at sea for four days at the waters of Sulu sea.