Adrift Pangasinan fishermen rescued by US Navy ship
DAGUPAN CITY – Eleven fishermen from Pangasinan, who were earlier reported missing, were rescued Monday morning by a United States Navy ship which was on its way to Subic Bay in Olongapo City.
Charlito Maniago, village chief of Cato, Infanta, Pangasinan, where the fishermen were from, said the Office of Civil Defense in Metro Manila informed him Monday morning of the rescue.
BACKSTORY: 11 fishermen missing in West PH Sea
Maniago identified the fishermen as Fernando Rebuta, 52; Eddie Buenbinida, 52; Charlie Dumas, 47; Daniel Canaway, 31; Andy Lebios, 32; Wilson Etac, 62; Armando Polo, 51; Jerry Oleverio, 53; Elorde Encarguez, 20; Virgel Encarguez, 18; and Ariel Balaguit, 27.
Lieutenant Senior Grade Alexander Corpuz, commander of the Coast Guard station in Sual town, confirmed the rescue.
At the Subic Bay Freeport, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chair Roberto Garcia told a press conference Monday that the USNS Impeccable found the fishermen drifting at sea.
The fishermen left Barangay Cato in Infanta for a fishing trip on July 15 as the southwest monsoon dumped heavy rain in northern Luzon and whipped huge waves in the West Philippine Sea.
At about 2 p.m. on Saturday, Maniago said, the fishermen called their relatives in Cato, saying their boat was about to sink 81 nautical miles (150 km) west of Bolinao town.
He said the fishermen’s boat might not have withstood the rough seas. He added, the fishermen said they tied their boat to a payao or artificial reef to avoid being swept away by the current.
The village chief said he already sent a vehicle to the Subic Bay Freeport in Zambales to fetch the fishermen, who were taken to a hospital there.