PH Navy frigate crew rescues fisherman in WPS mishap

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan (PNA) – Crew members of the Philippine Navy (PN) frigate BRP Antonio Luna rescued a Filipino fisherman in a near-fatal accident in the waters near Sabina Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Commander Ariel Joseph Coloma, Armed Forces Western Command (Wescom) spokesman, said in an interview on Monday, September 18, that Sonny Agting’s leg was hit by the propeller of his boat as he was fishing on Sunday, September 17.

Coloma said the BRP Antonio Luna was conducting a routine maritime and sovereignty patrol not too far from the accident site and received a distress call from the crew of fishing boat FFB Camano 1 of which the 46-year-old Agting was a member.

Capt. Clyde Domingo, the skipper of the frigate, reported to Wescom headquarters that his crew changed their route and steered toward the fishing boat's position immediately after receiving the call for help.

The Navy personnel then deployed a rigid inflatable boat carrying a rescue team to transfer Agting from his boat to their vessel for urgent medical attention.

"Despite our distance from the distressed fishing boat, we acted as fast as we could to provide immediate assistance to the injured Filipino fisherman," Domingo said.

Doctors aboard the frigate then administered emergency medical care to Agting while the ship quickly sailed back to mainland Palawan to deliver the patient to a hospital.

The fisherman was admitted to a hospital in mainland Palawan on Monday after a more than 250-kilometer trip from Sabina Shoal. He is now in the company of family members.