FOUR crewmen of a Navotas-based fishing boat have survived the onslaught of Tropical Storm “Vinta” when Malaysian Navy rescued them in the Malaysian waters.
They were identified as follows: Arnel Viana, 40, skipper; Joseph Jarina, 30, chief mate; Roger Arceo, 49, chief engineer; and, Thomas Taboso, 47, crew.
They were among the 23 crew of the ill-fated fishing boat, F/B Neri, that capsized on December 23 after it was battered by strong winds and huge waves triggered by “Vinta.”
Captain Ronnie Gil Gavan, Coastguard District Southwestern Mindanao commander, said the four crew were rescued on December 29, 2017 by Malaysian Navy near Billean Island, Malaysia.
Viana said their fishing boat capsized after it was battered by strong winds and huge waves despite they have sought shelter at Mangsee Island, Balabac, Palawan.
Viana said there were only four of them on a life raft drifting at sea when they woke up the next day.
He could not tell where are the other 19 crew of the ill-fated fishing boat.
He said they survived drifting at sea for six days by drinking rain water and eating coconut and anything they could find at sea.
Gavan said the Malaysian Navy led by Lieutenant Commander Jefrdin Bin Jamaluddin turned them over to the Philippine authorities on Wednesday, January 3, in Turtle Islands, Tawi-Tawi.
They were fetched by the coastguard’s multi-role and rescue vessel, BRP-Tubbataha, from Turtle Islands.
They arrived around 9:30 p.m. Friday in Zamboanga City. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)