USNS Wally Schirra rescues distressed Filipino fishermen

Photo: US 7th Fleet
Photo: US 7th Fleet

The crew of Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) fleet ordnance and dry cargo ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8) rescued five Filipino fishermen off an adrift and distressed boat in the South China Sea on Monday, October 8.

According to the rescued individuals, all personnel from the boat survived despite being adrift for approximately five days.

Wally Schirra was conducting a routine mission when the watch officer and lookout spotted the individuals in apparent distress on an adrift boat.

According to the fishermen, their boat sank on October 3 after the hull was punctured by the bill of a blue marlin, estimated at 1.8 metres long and about 90 kilograms.

As Wally Schirra closed the distance with the distressed boat, the fishermen entered the water and swam toward the MSC ship.

A rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) and search and rescue swimmers deployed off Wally Schirra and pulled the fishermen to safety.

All five rescued fishermen were later turned over the following day to the crew of a Philippine Coast Guard vessel, which subsequently brought them to Coast Guard Station Subic for immediate medical attention.

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