MANILA – Seven Chinese fishermen were rescued after their vessel caught fire and then sank off Mapun, Tawi-Tawi on Wednesday morning, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.
Initial report from the PCG in Mapun said the seven fishermen managed to jump off the vessel before it sank.
The Chinese fishermen were rescued by crew members of another vessel which was passing by the area.
The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.
PCG and local officials said they are having a hard time getting information from the Chinese fishermen due to language barrier.
Recently a Palawan court convicted 12 Chinese fishermen who were caught illegalLy fishing in the protected waters of Tubbataha Reef.
The crew members were sentenced to 6 to 10 years imprisonment, while the boat's captain was sentenced to up to 12 years imprisonment. They were also required to pay a fine of $100,000 each. – report from Jewel Reyes, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga