Philippine Navy Naval Forces West (NAVFORWEST) rescued distressed fishermen off El Nido, Palawan on August 2. “The search and rescue (SAR) operation started when Littoral Monitoring Station (LMS) Lalutaya received information on 7:20am of August 2, 2018 that FB Athan Uno (FB230) with more or less thirty-four (34) crew onboard encountered big waves and strong winds that caused her bow to crack causing her bow to submerge at vicinity 21NM west of Guntao Island, Palawan,” NAVFORWEST said.
Patrol Craft (PC380) was deployed on order of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command (WESCOM)’s Joint Task Force Malampaya (JTFM) in coordination with LMS Lalutaya for the last known location of FB Athan Uno.
“Around 10:20am, PC380 sighted two (2) motor bancas, a smaller banca trying to tow FB Athan Uno towards the direction of El Nido, Palawan. However, the half-submerged banca (FB Athan Uno) was barely moving due to very rough seas, heavy rains, and eight to ten feet wave height,” NAVFORWEST said.
28 crew members of FB Athan Uno were transferred safely to PC380 while the remaining 9 crew members boarded FB Athan Dos, a sister ship of the damaged boat.
“While underway, the rescued crew was initially interviewed and found that they departed Occidental Mindoro on July 31, 2018 as averred by their Boat Captain, Mr. Rodolfo Palacio. However, due to unfavorable sea condition, their boat was battered by strong waves in the early morning of Aug. 02, 2018 causing the mishap where half of the boat eventually submerged,” NAVFORWEST said.
“PC380 personnel served dinner to the crew of the ill-fated FB prior her turn-over to the Local National Disaster Risk Reduction Management (NDRRD) upon arrival at El Nido Pier around 9pm of August 02, 2018,” it added.