ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Philippine Navy rescued two Turkish sailors after their boat drifted near the coast of Zamboanga City, in Mindanao, officials said Monday.
Lt. Jose Covarrubias, a naval spokesman, said the foreigners – Ahmed Tabran, 60; and Burcu Botanoglu, 54; were safely rescued and brought to a naval station in Zamboanga City.
Covarrubias said they received a distress call from the sailboat “Stormbird” after its engine broke down off Sibago Island, in Basilan province, over the weekend. He said the boat drifted further toward Zamboanga, where patrol boats towed it to the naval base here.
The boat, whose last port call was on Salam Island, Davao del Norte province, was heading to Kudat, in Malaysia, when it met engine trouble while traversing the dangerous province of Basilan, where security forces have been battling Abu Sayyaf rebels.
Mayor Beng Climaco commended the navy for rescuing the foreigners.
Tabran and his companion thanked the navy for quickly responding to the distress call. AL JACINTO