ABUCAY, Bataan: Three fishermen from a village here were rescued by town mates on Sunday, after braving the tur- bulent sea for 15 hours without food.
Avito Emia, 40, and his son Joseph, 22, and brother Cesar, 42, all from Barangay Omboy, Abucay, said the engines of their fishing boats malfunctioned.
“Nagkaroon na ako ng leksiyon. Kapag may anunsiyo na may bagyo, hindi na ako lalabas at hindi manghihinayang sa kikitain sapagka’t buhay ko naman ang kapalit [I learned a lesson. If there is an announcement that a storm is coming, I will not feel bad if I do not head out to sea and not earn a living for a while because I could die if I do otherwise],” Avito said.
He said that he left Omboy at 12 midnight to pull out the fish caught in his net that he left in the sea. He said he expected to return by dawn but he had trouble with his boat and was unable to go home.
He lost his anchor but he was able to tie his banca to bamboo pens as he continuously drained water from the vessel.
Cesar and Joseph tried to rescue Avito at 5 a.m. but they were met by strong waves and the engine of their small boat also malfunctioned.
The second rescue team, composed of Wilfredo Miras, Val Bejuco and Toribio Emia set out on Sunday afternoon.
They braved the rough waters to rescue their stranded neighbors, who were weak and cold from spending more than half a day at sea.
A similar scenario unfolded in Tawi-Tawi province in Mindanao, as navy patrol rescued 10 passengers and crewmen of a cargo boat that capsized.
Ensign Reybee Alegado, Naval Forces Western Mindanao spokesman, said all the victims were safely brought to Indangan village in Simunul Island over the weekend.
“They are all okay and were given hot meals,” Alegado told The Manila Times.
Alegado said the cargo boat M/L J-Rem was battered by huge waves and strong winds and eventually capsized.
He said the patrol boat under Commander Erlyn Reyes searched for the ill-fated vessel skippered by Alano Samman and spotted them 17 nautical miles off South Ubian Island. He did not say what the boat was transporting, but it capsized under bad weather.
Alegado said they learned about the mishap after former Tawi-Tawi governor, Sadikul Sahali, sought help from the navy to locate the boat and rescue the passengers.
The Coast Guard has repeatedly warned small vessels not to sail out at sea during storms.