Filipino crew members of a Hong Kong-flagged cargo vessel have rescued a distressed fisherman who was floating off Pangasinan and eating styrofoam to survive after an apparent sea mishap, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Sunday, Nov. 19.
MV Deryoung Space was underway to Subic, Zambales when its crew members spotted the Filipino fisherman floating in the vicinity waters off Agno around 2:20 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18.
The ship's master, officers, and crew members -- who happened to be Filipinos -- conducted a rescue operation to save the struggling fisherman.
It turns out that the survivor was one of the two fishermen reported missing by the PCG on Nov. 17.
"According to the ship's chief mate, it was destiny. Their vessel had to change her course to avoid a typhoon. The crew were outside because it was a Saturday and they only had a half day's work so they saw the fisherman. Luck was on the side of the fisherman," PCG spokesperson Rear Adm. Armando Balilo said.
"The survivor was eating styrofoam to survive," he added.
PCG Commandant Adm. Ronnie Gil Gavan commended the Filipino seafarers for saving their fellow Pinoy.
"I recognize the exemplary professionalism and commend the humanitarian act of the master, officers and crew of MV Deryoung Space. In the Philippine waters, our seafarers are indeed our everyday heroes," Gavan said.
Based on the investigation, two Filipino fishermen went on a fishing activity on Nov. 17 off Agno, Pangasinan but they failed to return at midnight due to a bad weather condition, causing their motorbanca to submerge.
Gavan said that the PCG immediately informed transiting vessels in the area regarding the incident for possible sightings.
Luckily, the PCG received an update from MV Deryoung Space when its crew members communicated that they found and rescued one of the two missing Filipino fishermen.
As of this writing, the general cargo vessel has arrived at the Subic Port and the rescued fisherman was reunited with his family.
Meanwhile, a search and rescue (SAR) operation was ongoing to find the remaining missing fisherman.