Philippine Coast Guard rescues Swiss national in peril off Sulu Sea

Photo courtesy of PCG Southeastern Mindanao District

A Swiss national in trouble at sea while traveling alone aboard a yacht in the Sulu Sea was rescued by personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Southwestern Mindanao District, according to an official.

The gentleman, identified as 71-year-old Peter Niklaus, was rescued on Thursday by PCG personnel aboard the Multi-Role Response Vessel-4410 (BRP-Bagacay), according to Zamboanga Coast Guard Station commander Lt. Commander Jesse Guiniling.

Niklaus had engine issues while sailing alone on August 6 from Tambobo Bay, Siaton, Negros Occidental to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, according to Guiniling.

According to Guiniling, Niklaus was unable to reach the nearest port for assistance due to a lack of gasoline, and the boat drifted due to bad weather until it reached the Sulu Sea.

He went on to say that after receiving word that Niklaus had not arrived at his location, they initiated a search and rescue operation.

He claimed they were able to determine that Niklaus’ last known whereabouts on August 16 was in the neighborhood of Zamboanga del Norte.

He said they were able to find the troubled yacht’s location thanks to information from fishermen who saw it drifting westward towards the Tubbataha Reef’s limit.

After establishing communication with the boat in difficulty, the PCG troops aboard the BRP-Bagacay were able to pinpoint Niklaus’ location, he claimed.

The yacht was pulled from the Sulu Sea to Zamboanga for further help and proper disposition through the Bureau of Quarantine and Immigration.

Despite being completely vaccinated, Niklaus was asked to undergo obligatory quarantine in an isolation facility as a preventive step during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Guiniling.

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