TWO fishermen died while 71 others were rescued drifting at sea in the province of Tawi-Tawi, a top military official announced on Tuesday.

Rear Admiral Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) commander, said the fishermen were rescued around 9 a.m. Monday near Pamilikan Island, Mapun town, Tawi-Tawi.

Medina said one of the 73 fishermen died at sea before the arrival of the rescuers while the other one died upon arrival in Mapun port.

Members of the Philippine Coast Guard rushed to the area after they received report that a fishing boat was wrecked by big waves triggered by Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin) near Pamilikan Island

The wrecked fishing boat is from Mangseeh Island, Balabak, Palawan.

Troops from the Marine Battalion Landing Team-8 (MBLT-8) assisted the fishermen when they arrived around 10 p.m. Monday at the port of Mapun.

Of the 71 rescued fishermen, 41 were admitted at the Cagayan de Tawi-Tawi District Hospital.

Most of them are from Palawan while the others are from Navotas, Bulacan, Bataan, Malabon, Guimaras, Caloocan City, Cebu, Leyte, Davao and Tawi-Tawi.