THE Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) has rescued 67 people, including eight crewmen, aboard a wooden-hulled vessel in distress off Basilan province, a top military official said Monday, December 4.
Rear Admiral Rene Medina, NFWM commander, said they were rescued around 10:20 p.m. Friday near Baluk-Baluk Island, Hadji Muhatamad town.
Medina said they were aboard M/L Fatimah Devie skippered by Cisar Abdul. The vessel drifted at sea after it encountered a mechanical defect.
Medina said investigation showed the vessel was sailing to Zamboanga City coming from Taganak, Turtle Island in Tawi-Tawi “when the rudder broke, resulting in a major steering casualty” around 7:20 p.m. Friday.
The NFWM, through the Naval Task Force 61, deployed BRP-Iwak (LC-289) to provide assistance after receiving a distress message from M/L Fatimah Devie.
Medina said BRP-Iwak, which is skippered by Cmdr. Homer Gonzalez, rescued M/L Fatimah Devie around 10:20 p.m. Friday and towed the vessel to safety.
He said they arrived around 1:38 a.m. Saturday, December 2, at a private wharf in Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City.
He said the rescue proved the readiness and responsiveness of the naval force in the Western Mindanao area. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)