SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Eleven fishermen who were rescued by the US Navy after their fishing vessel capsized 90 miles off the coast of Subic are now safe and sound here in this Freeport.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman Roberto V. Garcia said the fishermen were rescued early this morning by the crew of the USNS Impeccable while in transit to Subic Bay.
Capt. Robert Wiechert of the USNS Impeccable said in a report that while en route to the port of Subic, they spotted lights and people waving from a floundering small vessel at around 6:00 pm yesterday.
Despite the prevailing rough waters, the American ship was able to maneuver closer to the capsized vessel four hours after and launched a rescue boat that took in the distressed fishermen. All eleven were brought to the Impeccable and given medical attention, food and clean clothing.
Garcia said that once in the Subic Freeport, the rescued fishermen were attended to by SBMA medical officers who determined that they only sustained minor injuries from the incident.
Garcia thanked the crew of USNS Impeccable and said that the rescued fishermen are safe and will be going back to their families.
The rescued fishers were identified as Fernando R. Rebata; Jay-R A. Encarguez; Daniel B. Canaway; Wilson E. Etak; Jerry T. Oliviero; Armando D. Polo; Rueben M. Lebios; Vergel A. Ecarges; Charlie R. Dumaz; Eddie V. Benveniga; all from Barangay Cato, Infanta, Pangasinan, and Ariel P. Balaquit of Barangay Naulo, Santa Cruz, Zambales.
The USNS Impeccable, an ocean surveillance ship of the U.S. Navy assigned to Military Sealift Command's Special Missions Program, is now docked at the Boton Wharf of the Subic Bay Freeport. (30)
The SBMA medical and rescue team, along with SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator Randy Escolango (4th from left), attend to the rescued fishermen upon arrival at the Subic Bay Freeport.