Personnel from law enforcement and disaster risk reduction authorities rescued two Chinese nationals believed to be fishermen on Thursday afternoon off the waters of Canipaan village in Rizal town in southern Palawan.
Rizal Municipal Police Station (MPS) commander, Maj. Thirz Starky Timbancaya, said the two were on board a small rubber dinghy that washed ashore in Barangay Canipaan.
Two persons died in the incident while one is missing, he added.
Timbancaya identified the survivors as boat captain Lu Yunian and his crew Fu Wanke. They are currently being treated at the Bataraza District Hospital (BDH).
Those who perished were identified as Li Bang Lai and Qinmi Tong. The boat captain said the missing crew member, who was unable to board the rubber boat due to big waves, was Fu Wan Sheng.
Timbancaya said the boat captain narrated that all five of them came from a “mother vessel” that was caught in bad weather conditions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) on August 1. They abandoned the ship after seawaters overcame it.
“They were forced to transfer to the small rubber boat. Out of five fishermen, one was unable to make it to the rubber boat. He vanished due to strong winds and waves. They were able to bring the body to the rubber boat, but he perished because he couldn’t swim,” he said in Filipino.
“The other one possibly died because his head hit a debris or the mother boat. His ears and nose bled and died,” Timbancaya added in Filipino.
Since the accident, the group has been drifting on the high waves in the WPS. They said to have departed Hainan on July 9.The bodies of the two Chinese nationals were still being held in the Bataraza District Hospital. Authorities are now investigating the incident.