MANILA, Philippines – Three Filipino seafarers who survived a sea mishap last week in South Korea arrived Wednesday evening in Manila.
The seafarers, who declined to be identified, also did not entertain media interviews when they arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 via Asiana Airlines flight OC 703 at 11 p.m.
They were among the 15 crew members of a Malaysia-registered vessel, Shinline freighter, rescued by a Korean coastguard boat near the southern island of Jeju last October 18.
The coastguard boat, however, capsized, killing two Chinese sailors and three other Filipinos.
Meanwhile, the coastguard officers and their 10 crew members, including the three rescued Filipinos, survived after being rescued by another coastguard boat.
The freighter, with a total of 13 Chinese and six Philippine crew members, radioed for help after the ship -- en route to Singapore -- started taking on water.
"Of two coastguard boats involved in the operation, one overturned because of high waves," the spokesman said, adding that the rescued sailors and coastguard officers were taken to a hospital in Jeju.
Yonhap quoted Jeju coastguard chief Cho Joon-Eo as saying: "The conditions were extremely bad and the freighter could have gone underwater at any moment. We had no other choice but to try to rescue as many sailors as we could." – with a report from Agence France-Presse; and Zhander Cayabyab, dzMM