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US Navy ship rescues 5 Filipino fishermen

/ 03:45 PM October 24, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Five stranded fishermen were rescued by a US ship off Lubang Island in Occidental Mindoro early Wednesday.

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The fishermen were discovered by one of the helicopter pilots embarked on the  Arleigh Bruke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DGG 85) during the  routine night-time flight operations at about midnight, said US Embassy spokesperson Tina Malone.

She said the fishing boat reportedly started taking on water early Wednesday, and it was almost completely submerged by the time it was found by the US Navy.

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“The US pilots spotted the five men flashing a lighter while standing on the roof of their boat, the only part of it left above water,” Malone said.

The USS Campbell was closest to the scene and immediately transited to the location of the stranded men, she added.

The rescued men were taken on board the ship about one hour after they were found, Malone said, adding that they were in good health as evaluated by the ship’s medical personnel.

Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo, spokesman of the Philippine Coast Guard,  identified the fishermen as Richard Ralia, 27, Noel Aque, 22, Jimmy Aque, 34, Reynato Leorin, 33, and Erick S Abaño, 26, residents of Barangay Cawak, Subic, Zambales.

Coast Guard reports said that a certain Garcia Magtanggol, a Filipino crew of the USS Campbell informed them that a capsized motorbanca was 43 nautical miles northwest of Lubang Island.

The fishermen went on a fishing venture Friday last week and the banca capsized Tuesday night.

The fishermen were now turned over to Coast Guard Medical Office in PCG Headquarters.

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The USS Campbell is one of the escort ships of USS George Washingtom Carrier Strike Group, due for a port call at Manila Bay. It is currently conducting a routine western Pacific patrol in support of security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

Originally posted at 12:26 pm | Wednesday, October 24, 2012

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