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Vietnam Returns 5 Rescued Tuna Fishermen To Philippines Vietnam, February 2, 13

Five Filipino fishermen were rescued by a Vientamese fishing vessels off the coast early December 2012.

The Border Guard High Command of Khanh Hoa Province turned the sailors over to the Philippines Embassy in Hanoi on Friday. Hector Reyes Herrera, an attaché at the Philippines Embassy in Hanoi, said he was very touched by the bravery of the Vietnamese fishermen who rescued the five sailors.

The rescued fishermen are Wili Diaz, 30, Richard Pay Matiaong, 23, Isny Boy Diaz, 20, Rodney S.Mantinez, 19, and Asadin Taha, 18.

They were brought to Ba Ngoi Port in Cam Ranh City, Khanh Hoa Province on January 19 by the trawler PY-96039TS, operated by Nguyen Van Hiep of Phu Yen Province.

On December 26, while Hiep’s boat was fishing for tuna around the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, he spotted a drifting ship with the five Filipino fishermen on board.

Hiep’s crew immediately rescued the fishermen and gave them first aid.

The Filipinos said that their ship, with a crew of 10, went out to sea to fish on December 9. When they arrived at a deserted island, five sailors decided to stay and fish, while the rest sailed on.

Everything went smoothly until December 17, when the ship’s engine broke down, leaving the vessel powerless.

By the time the ship was rescued, the crew was in a desperate situation as they had run out of food and drinking water, the saved sailors said.

After receiving reports about the rescue, authorities from Khanh Hoa contacted the Filipino Embassy in Hanoi to arrange for the repatriation of the fishermen.