5 fishermen saved from capsized boat in Sulu

Five fishermen who went missing after their boat overturned at the height of a weather turbulence have been safely rescued by the military in the waters of Patikul, Sulu, authorities reported Sunday.

Colonel Ruben Candelario, commander of Naval Task Group (NTG) Sulu, identified the fishermen as relatives Kaisar Pulalon, Judimar Pulalon, Alvin Pulalon, and Rene Pulalon; and Alnaser Hadjirul, all residents of Barangay Tanjung, Indanan, Sulu.

Meanwhile, authorities were still searching for another member of the group, Arman Pulalon.

A military report said the men were fishing aboard their boat "FV OK LNG" when it capsized due to bad weather off Patikul waters around 3 p.m. last Friday.

The NTG Sulu immediately dispatched a multi-purpose attack craft (MPAC) to conduct search and rescue operations in the general vicinity of Sulu Sea after receiving a report about the incident from municipal officials.

After almost 17 hours, the five fishermen were found floating on sea, hanging on to the debris of the ill-fated boat, in the vicinity of Bacungan and Panganaa Islands in Barangay Bonbon, Patikul around 7:40 a.m. Saturday.

"These individuals are local fishermnen from Indanan, Suilu who came to Patikul waters amid heavy rains to fish," Candelario said.

The saved fishermen were brought to the nearest wharf in Barangay Tando Batu, Luuk for immediate medical treatment by the Rural Health Unit of Patikul.

Major General William Gonzales, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu, commended the Naval Task Group Sulu for the successful search and rescue operations.

"In close coordination with the local government units of Patikul and Luuk, we are still searching for the last remaining fisherman in the coastal waters of both municipalities. I have high hopes that Arman Pulalon will survive the tragedy," Gonzales added.