MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The USS McCampbell, one of the escort ships of US Navy aircraft carrier USS George Washington, rescued five fishermen in the waters off Lubang Island in Mindoro last night while en route to Manila.
The fishermen, who were stranded after their boat broke down, were brought to Manila on board the ship, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer.
|Five fishermen from Subic rescued by the USS McCampbell off Lubang Island - Photo by Noel Alamar
“Lumubog po ang bangka namin, mga 11:00 (ng gabi). Mga 12:00 po, dumaan ang helicopter nila. Gumawa po kami ng paraan para mapansin nila kami. Naglagay po kami ng tela sa may kawayan tapos binasa namin ng gas tapos sinindihan namin,” one fisherman said.
“On our way to the port visit (here in Manila), while we were in international waters, one of my helicopters noticed a flare in the air and proceeded over there. There were five gentlemen staying on top of a boat, my ship raced over there at 30 knots to render assistance. We got over there in time,” said USS McCampbell commanding officer Capt. TJ Dickson upon their arrival at Pier15 in Manila.
According to a statement by the US Embassy, the fishermen reported that their fishing vessel had started taking on water early morning of October 23, and the entire boat had nearly sunk by the time of discovery.
“The five men were quickly recovered and taken on board the McCampbell, approximately one hour after initial discovery. The individuals were evaluated by the ship's medical personnel and found to be in good health,” the embassy said.
The fishermen were turned over to the Philippine Coast Guard.
The USS McCampbell is part of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, the US Navy’s only continuously forward-deployed carrier strike group, based out of Yokosuka, Japan.
The USS George Washington, one of the US Navy’s largest aircraft carriers, arrived in the Philippines earlier today for a goodwill visit.
Aboard the carrier are more than 6,000 officers and crew, some of whom are of Filipino descent. – From a report by Noel Alamar, DZMM