Indonesian adrift for 23 days, rescued in Tawi-Tawi

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- A Filipino fisherman has rescued an Indonesian on a floating cottage that drifted in the high seas for 23 days, a top military official said Thursday.

Brigadier General Custodio Parcon, Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi, identified the rescued Indonesian as Erens Fiter.

Parcon said that Idris Elsan was fishing when he rescued Fiter around 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, near Barangay Manuk Mangkaw, Simunul, Tawi-Tawi.

Parcon said Fiter informed them that his floating cottage drifted since March 19 after it got loose from its anchor due to strong winds.

He said Fiter tried to seek help from passing seacrafts but failed to catch attention of the seafarers.

He said the Indonesian was brought to police station of Simunul town at 7 a.m. Wednesday after the latter spent the night at Elsan’s residence.

The police have extended medical attention to Fiter and turned him over to the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Parcon said they immediately coordinated with the Tawi-Tawi Provincial Police Office and the Bureau of Immigration for the proper disposition of Fiter.

“We coordinated with the Interpol (International Police)-Tawi-Tawi and the Indonesian Border Crossing Station (BCS) for the background check of Fiter,” Parcon said.

He said Fiter is currently housed at the headquarters Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi while awaiting for his final disposition.

“Since our trilateral cooperative arrangement is on effect, we are able to closely coordinate with our neighboring countries and address security concerns and other issues,” he said.

“We are thankful that Fiter is well. Our troops are now currently processing his immediate return to his country with the help of concerned agencies,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)

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