15 Filipino nationals rescued following boat grounding in Sabah, Malaysia

Photo: Philippine Navy

Malaysian maritime authorities came to the aid of 15 Filipino nationals after their motor launch ran aground in Sabah late last week.

The survivors were all residents of Tawi-Tawi province in the southern Philippines.

The survivors said that on Thursday, January 6, they sailed out of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, and headed for nearby Turtle Island when their boat’s engine seized. Because the engine could not be restarted, the boat was swept about by strong waves until it ran aground near Bukit Lawa-Lawa in Sabah.

Philippine and Malaysian authorities immediately launched a search and rescue (SAR) operation after a relative of one of those on the boat provided information on the castaways’ whereabouts.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency then sent a patrol boat to rescue the stranded Filipinos on Monday, January 10. The survivors were later transferred to a Philippine Navy vessel, which brought them to shore in Tawi-Tawi.

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