2 Chinese fishermen rescued in Palawan waters
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Two Chinese fishermen adrift on a rubber boat in the coastal waters off Palawan province were rescued by local residents on Thursday.
Two other Chinese fishermen on the boat were already dead when found, officials said.
According to Police Maj. Starky Timbancaya, the police chief of Rizal, a town near the southwestern tip of the province, municipal authorities were alerted to the sighting of the rubber boat off the coast of Canipaan village around 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Since the town did not have enough personnel to launch a rescue operation, local officials sought help from neighboring Bataraza, which then sent a team to get the Chinese.
The survivors were brought to the municipal hospital of Bataraza, where they were interviewed by the police on Friday.
Main boat abandoned
Unable to speak in English, they wrote in Chinese to communicate and identified themselves as boat captain Lu Yunian, 39, and crew member Fu Wanke, 40.
The dead were identified as Li Bang Lai and Qin Tong.
According to the police, the four fishermen were forced to abandon their main vessel as they encountered extreme weather conditions on Sunday.
Heavy rains continued to persist in many areas of the country more than a week after the exit of Typhoon “Fabian” (international name: In-fa) on July 23.
There was a fifth crew member—Fu Wan Sheng, 35—who failed to make it to their rubber boat, the survivors told the police.
Of the two fatalities, Timbancaya said “One [had drowned] because he did not know how to swim, but his companions managed to pull him into the rubber boat. The other was believed to have been hit by debris from their battered fishing boat because he bled in the nose and ear before he died.”
The survivors said their fishing crew left the Chinese island province of Hainan on July 9.The Chinese Embassy in Manila has been informed about the rescue, Timbancaya said.
Reports of Chinese encroachment in Philippine waters have repeatedly caused flare-ups in the maritime dispute between Manila and Beijing.
One major incident occurred in June 2019, when a Chinese trawler (Yuemaobinyu 42212) rammed a Filipino fishing boat (FB Gem-Ver) at Recto Bank, some 270 kilometers west of Palawan, and abandoned the latter’s crew.
The 22 Filipino crew members of Gem-Ver, a vessel from Occidental Mindoro, were eventually rescued by a Vietnamese fishing vessel that happened to pass by the collision site.
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