Navy rescues 2 Turkish sailors off Zamboanga

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Philippine Navy rescued two Turkish sailors after their boat drifted near Zamboanga City in Mindanao, officials said on Monday.

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Lieutenant Jose Covarrubias, naval spokesman, said 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 towards Zamboanga, where patrol boats towed it to the naval base here.

The boat, whose last port call was in Salam Island in Davao del Norte province, was heading to Kudat in Malaysia when its engine broke down while traversing the province of Basilan, where security forces are currently battling Abu Sayyaf rebels.

Meanwhile, Mayor Beng Climaco commended the Navy for the rescue of Turkish sailors.

Tabran and Botanoglu also thanked the Philippine naval officers for quickly responding to their distress call.

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