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Navy's NFWM forces rescue distressed vessel off Basilan


A vessel "M/L Fatimah Devie" which suffered from derangement has been rescued by the Philippine Navy near Baluk-Baluk Island, Basilan Province.

In a statement issued Monday, the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) said through the Naval Task Force 61 directed the BRP Iwak (LC 289) to immediately proceed to the location following a report of a distressed vessel at about 7:20 p.m. on Dec 1, 2017.

While enroute to the location of the said vessel, LC 289 commanded by Cmdr. Homer D Gonzalez PN (GSC) established communication with the distressed vessel piloted by the Boat Captain, Capt Cisar Abdul with seven crew members.

At least 59 civilians were onboard on the said vessel, which was heading to Zamboanga City from Taganak Port when the rudder broke that resulted to a major steering casualty.

"At 10:20p.m., the vessel was rescued and assisted by LC 289 and was towed from Malamaui Island, Basilan and arrived at Baliwasan, Zamboanga City at around 1:38 in the morning of Dec. 2 " Rear Admiral Rene Medina said in the statement.

Another similar incident occurred August 1, 2017, where in the PN Landing Craft, BRP Ivatan (LC 298) rescued the distressed vessel, M/L Moonlight Sheera that suffered from a machinery derangement due to a broken propeller shaft. The crew members of the said vessel were safely and successfully ferried back to Zamboanga City Pier.

Also last Nov. 20, the Navy also apprehended a group of armed men believed to be members of ASG at Tonquil Island in Sulu believed to be behind the conduct of harassment and piracy to commercial fishing vessels transiting in the area.

Medina said these apprehensions are a result of the intensified military operations and patrols in the area that aim to put an end to the lawless activities in the region.

"The successful rescue operations of the Navy vessels proves the readiness and responsiveness of the Naval Force in the Western Mindanao. The Philippine Navy stands ready to render assistance and support to vessels in distressed while conducting its missions and maritime patrols in the Western Mindanao region," he said. Hader Glang

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