Three Filipino fishermen have been rescued after being found clinging to driftwood in the sea 165 km east of Mindanao in the Philippines.
Mitsui OSK Lines bulk carrier Spring Zephyr was returning from Port Walcott, in Australia’s Pilbara region, to Port Oita in Japan on 5 July when the three men were sighted at about midday, company president Junichiro Ikeda has announced.
“The vessel immediately changed course to approach the castaways and start rescue operations,” according to a company statement.
By 13.15 the Spring Zephyr’s crew had safely rescued the three survivors.
The vessel’s captain, Ikuro Yoneyama, handed the fishermen over to the Philippines Coast Guard at about 15.00 before resuming the voyage to Japan.
“All three castaways were local fishermen and they were found in good condition,” a Mitsui OSK Lines representative told IHS Maritime. “Unfortunately, we have no further information, like what had happened to their fishing boat.”
Three months ago, sailors on board US Navy warship USS Blue Ridge rescued five Filipino fishermen who had been adrift at sea off the Philippines for three days without food.