Armed men attacked a Manila-bound cargo vessel in the waters off Sibago Island in Basilan on Friday night in an attempt to abduct crew members for ransom.
M/V Kudos 1 was navigating the sea from Davao City when armed men on three motorized bancas intercepted the vessel.
The ship's captain Chris Paul Maligmat said they repelled the attack by splashing boiled water mixed with oil against the gunmen.
In retaliation, the attackers opened fire at the vessel that was carrying assorted steel bars.
Two crew members sustained minor injuries.
Maligmat was able to call for help from authorities until the armed men fled.
The Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard rushed to the area and escorted the vessel to safety in Zamboanga City.