A lifeboat carrying four Chinese fishermen, two of whom are deceased, was found drifting off Palawan province in the western Philippines in the late afternoon (local time) of Thursday, August 5.
The Philippine Coast Guard station at Brooke’s Point in Palawan was notified at around 17:20 on Thursday that a local fisherman had sighted a small inflatable boat with people on board five kilometres off the town of Rizal.
A coast guard-led search and rescue team arrived at the area at 18:28 and brought the castaways, including the two deceased fishermen, to shore. The deceased were then brought to a local mortuary while the survivors were evacuated to hospital.
The survivors later told their rescuers that a fifth crewman had gone missing.
The five Chinese nationals comprised the entire crew of a vessel that had sailed out of Hainan on July 9 to conduct fishing activities in the South China Sea.
One of the survivors was the vessel’s captain, who recounted that they were forced to abandon ship after they encountered bad weather on August 1. They then drifted at sea until they were found off Palawan on Thursday.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila has issued a statement thanking the Philippine authorities and local private citizens for rescuing the distressed fishermen.
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