107 rescued from sinking vessel off Tawi-TawiPhilippine Daily Inquirer
ZAMBOANGA CITY—The Philippine Navy on Monday said it rescued 107 people from a sinking sea vessel off Sibutu Island in Tawi-Tawi on Sunday evening.
Ensign Ian Sagge, spokesperson of the Naval Forces in Western Mindanao, said the Naval Task Force 62 stationed in Panglima Sugala in Tawi-Tawi received a report around 4:40 p.m. Sunday, which indicated that ML Lucky Man was sinking.
The motor launch was on its way to Sibutu Island from Bongao when it was battered by huge waves, Sagge said.
He said that immediately, the Navy sent out BRP Dioscoro Papa and found the sinking vessel about five nautical miles from Sibutu. Big waves, he said, were still battering the vessel when Navy personnel arrived.
Lt. Arthur Angue, BRP Dioscoro Papa commander, told the Inquirer by phone that the condition of the sea made the rescue operations more daunting.
“Most of the passengers were in a state of panic when we arrived in the area at around 7 p.m. ML Lucky Man was already half submerged and water had flooded its engine room,” he said.
Angue said many passengers climbed onto the roof of the motor launch while others jumped into the water.
He said some passengers were treated at the Navy ship after they suffered minor injuries.
Rear Adm. Armando Guzman, commander of Naval Forces in Western Mindanao, said a number of vessels had capsized in the turbulent seas near Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi since January this year.
But he said the Navy was always there to rescue troubled seafarers.
This year alone, the Navy has rescued 414 persons from sea vessels that encountered problems at sea, he said. Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao