Indonesian national , drifting in high seas, rescued in Tawi-Tawi
ZAMBOANGA CITY–An Indonesian national who drifted for nearly a month in the seas between Indonesia and the Philippines on his floating cottage was rescued by Tawi-Tawi fishermen, authorities said on Thursday.
Brigadier General Custodio Parcon, the commander of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi, said Erens Pieter was spotted by several fishermen off Barangay Manuk Mangkaw in Simunul town and plucked him out around 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
“According to Pieter, his floating cottage was cut from its anchor due to strong winds on March 19 and it was cast away from the shore,” Parcon said.
Pieter had told authorities he was a caretaker of a fish cage for Jaring Galilea Co. in Rakit, about 180 miles away from Manado City.
He said the Indonesian national recounted he had tried several times but failed to get help from passing sea vessels as he drifted several miles into the open sea.
“He was not able to catch attention,” Parcon said.
Pieter had been given a health check in Simunul and was now under the custody of Parcon’s group in Bongao town.
“We coordinated with the Interpol Tawi-Tawi and the Indonesian Border Crossing Station (BCS) for the background check of Pieter,” Parcon said, adding that based on the background check, the Indonesian national had no criminal record.
“We are thankful that Pieter is well. Our troops are now currently processing his immediate return to his country with the help of concerned agencies,” he added.
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