TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines – Three fishermen from Sta. Ana, Cagayan reported missing since last week were rescued by a Chinese vessel off the coast of Bicol last Tuesday.
One of the survivors, Jomar Anama, said a passing Chinese vessel rescued them after their boat was smashed by big waves while they were fishing in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of their hometown Barangay Tangatan, Sta. Ana, Cagayan Valley last Sunday.
Anama said he and his fellow fishermen, Rizaldo Adriano, 22, and Jeffrey Jimenes, 24, clung on what remained of their boat to keep afloat before they were rescued by the Chinese fishing vessel MV Xin Hai He.
Jimenez, for his part, said they kept afloat for almost three hours before they were spotted by the Chinese vessel.
“They failed to see us in our first attempt. But they took notice of us already in the second attempt,” he said.
The Hong Kong registered vessel owned by Philhua Shipping Inc. took care of the three Filipino fishermen for three days.
“They gave us food and clothing while we were in their custody,” one of the fishermen said.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Albay said the three fishermen were turned over by the Chinese vessel in Matnog, Sorsogon.
“They have no injuries, can walk and are in good health,” said Coast Guard District Bicol operation officer Maria Criselda Borais.
Borais said the Chinese ship was on its way to unload cargo in Legazpi City port and brought the rescued fishermen.
She said the fishermen were turned over to the Coast Guard District-Bicol last Wednesday.
“We also received a call from the municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of Sta. Ana… they will fetch the three fishermen,” she added.
Sta. Ana town Mayor Darwin Tobias said he would extend assistance to the fishermen and allow them to go home.
At present, the three are staying at the Coast Guard District Office in Legazpi City in Albay awaiting their transport home. – With Cet Dematera, Celso Amo