Navy men, fishermen work together to save 17 people off the coast of Sulu

Photo courtesy of Naval Forces Western Mindanao

On Thursday and Friday, the Naval Task Group (NTG) – Sulu rescued seventeen persons when their wooden sailboat capsized owing to bad weather caused by localized thunderstorms off the coast of Sulu. Two others, on the other hand, died.

The victims were rescued one nautical mile northeast of Bakungan Island, Patikul; Sitio Undanan, Barangay Kan Bulak, Luuk; and Tambanan Island, Luuk, according to Rear Adm. Toribio Adaci, commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM).

NTG-Sulu and 4th Marine Brigade commander Col. Hernanie Songao said they got a contact from a citizen on Thursday reporting that the motor launch, M/L Putli Dahiran, was in distress off Bangas Island in Panglima Tahil.

The vessel, which originated in Jolo, was said to have lost power and was drifting.

The BA-485 multi-purpose attack craft was despatched by the NTG-Sulu to conduct search and rescue missions.

The BA-485 detected the jungkong-type “Friendly” capsized one nautical mile northeast of Bakungan Island in Patikul at about 8:35 PM.

Three persons, Amasher Abirin, Wahid Isa, and Alkramier Unding, were rescued after they reported they had been at sea for at least two hours.

The “Friendly” capsized on its way to Jolo from Port Holland, Maluso in Basilan province, after being pummeled by large seas and heavy winds.

After two fishermen, Usman Amman and Sharahan Amman, reported spotting them near the shoreline of Sitio Undanan, Barangay Kan Bulak, Luuk, they were rescued at about 5:30 AM Friday.

They were Kalma Hassan, Rosalyn Marajan Unding, Jomar Said, Nadzrin Morajan, Marsida Sarahan, Shermalyn Hamsanain, Pirusa Basri, Adilina Cuadra, Gloria Jumaadil, Jidy Sangkula, Misha Radjuli, and Nadjara Aramin.

Two others, Nijar Aribin, and Jaime Lopez, were later rescued but Suhula Radjuli, and Sitti Kalasahan Radjuli, were already dead when found off Tambanan Island, also in Luuk, at about 8:30 AM, Friday.

Meanwhile, the M/L Putli Dahiran restarted its engine and was aided in reaching the port of Bangas Island in Hadji Panglima Tahil town by local fishermen.

All 17 were sent to Luuk’s NTG-Sulu and 4th Marine Brigade headquarters for medical treatment and COVID-19 screening.

The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and the Ministry of Social Welfare and Development received them later.

“The collaborative efforts of the sailors and Marines under NTG-Sulu and 4th Marine Brigade, as well as the cooperation of the locals contributed to the rescue,” PDRRMO chief Jlkipli Ahijon said in a statement.

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