A REPORT by online Vietnamese newspaper VnExpress said a Vietnamese fishing crew found the Filipino fishermen wearing life jackets and clinging to plastic barrels and pieces of wood from their damaged boat near Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.
The Filipinos were "tired, hungry and cold."
The rescue was carried out only through gestures. Neither the Vietnamese nor the Filipinos could understand each other's language.
According to the VnExpress report published online on June 18, 2019, the fishing boat TGTG-90983-TS from the Mekong Delta's Tien Giang Province was anchored near Recto Bank, known internationally as Reed Bank, when the crew was roused by voices of foreigners at around 1 a.m. of June 10, 2019.
Nguyen Thanh Tam, captain of the Vietnamese boat, told VnExpress that he saw two men in a boat speaking in a foreign language. The men waved their hands, asked for help and pointed towards Reed Bank.
The Vietnamese captain said he was hesitant to help at first because he thought the foreigners were pirates. But he saw that they were soaking wet and shivering.
Tam decided they must have been in an accident, had their boat towed to his boat, and headed out towards Reed Bank.
It took the Vietnamese boat about an hour to reach the area.
"The Vietnamese crew found a group of 20 Filipino fishermen wearing life jackets clinging on to plastic barrels and pieces of wood from a sunken boat. They were tired, hungry and cold," VnExpress reported.
The 10 Vietnamese fishermen took the 22 Filipino fishermen aboard their boat and fed them with rice and noodles.
Read the full report of VnExpress here.