By Francis Wakefield
Eleven crew members and 42 passengers of a Motor Launch (M/L) boat which drifted at the sea waters of Tawi-Tawi on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, were rescued by a Philippine Navy vessel, the Naval Forces Western Mindanao disclosed Wednesday.
Rear Admiral Erick A Kagaoan, the Commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, said the crewmembers and passengers of Motor Launch boat identified as M/L YASDA II that drifted at sea were rescued by personnel of the Philippine Navy Vessel BA482, a Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC), of the Naval Task Group Tawi-Tawi, under Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi of Western Mindanao Command.
According to the Navy official, the said Motor Launch incurred damage on its engine transmission and was drifting towards the island at vicinity 28.5 nautical miles, South East of Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, while on its way to Taganak Island, Tawi-Tawi.
Kagaoan said prior to the rescue, the Commander of the Naval Task Group Tawi-Tawi directed the Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC), to conduct maritime patrol operations. It was subsequently directed to rescue the victims.
He said BA482 immediately departed and proceeded to the location of M/L YASDA II. Upon arrival, the navy vessel immediately maneuvered and positioned alongside the ill-fated boat
Kagaoan said the assistance resulted in the successful mooring of the Motor Launch to Lamion Wharf, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, where the stranded passenger disembarked.
The ship, meanwhile, will undergo further repairs.
“The successful rescue of the M/L YASDA II is a result of selfless commitment and professionalism of the men and women of the Philippine Navy in protecting the country and our people,” Kagaoan said.
Kagaoan added that the Naval Forces Western Mindanao will remain vigilant in its area of operations for a secured and safe Western Mindanao maritime environment.