U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge Rescued 5 Pinoy Fishermen at Philippine Sea

Sailors attached to USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) rescue five stranded Filipinos whose fishing vessel suffered from mechanical difficulties. (Photo by MC3 Cody R. Babin, US Navy)

5 Pinoy fishermen rescued by US sailors

MANILA -- Five Filipino fishermen drifting in the Philippine Sea have been rescued by the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge, the US Navy said Thursday.

The boat of the Filipinos, who were not identified, encountered mechanical difficulties.

According to a report posted on the US Pacific Command website, USS Blue Ridge sailors initially noticed a small boat and a flag floating in the Philippine Sea.

After moving closer, they noticed that the boat was not moving, and several men were on board.

"We thought it was strange to see something in the water, so we slowed down to get a better look," said Ensign John Li, Blue Ridge officer of the deck during the response. "As we began looking for signs of distress, we noticed someone was waving a white T-shirt, while someone else was waving a flashlight."

One of the sailors, who said the boat "was being tossed around like a little toy," added that the men were jumping up and down inside their boat, trying to get the attention of those on board USS Blue Ridge.

Responding to the men’s need of immediate assistance, Blue Ridge deployed a boarding team via rigid-hulled inflatable boat and safely brought the five men on board the ship.

The Filipino fishermen were immediately provided with basic first aid, showers, and a change of clothes.

They were found to be suffering from hypothermia and were malnourished after spending three days on sea without food.

The Filipinos had been fishing at sea when their boat's motor stalled - ABS-CBN

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