Boat Capsizes, 6 Rescued Off Sulu Island

November 13, 2007 at 8:36 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 12, 2007) – Muslim fishermen have rescued six people after their motorized boat capsized off Siasi Island in the Sulu Archipelago in southern Philippines.

The boat was carrying two representatives of the cellular phone giant Globe Telecom, Willy Bobiar and Roberto Ecaranum; a television reporter, Nickee Butlangan, of the GMA-7 network and a stringer for the regional newspaper, Mindanao Examiner, and their escort, Hair Harijin and the vessel’s operator and his assistant.

Butlangan said strong winds and huge waves battered their boat and capsized at around 1.30 p.m. They were rescued by passing fishermen and brought to Siasi Island, where the group would inspect a site for cellular phone tower.

“We’re just lucky that all of us are still alive. We were only clinging on empty plastic containers when Muslim fishermen spotted us,” Butlangan told the Mindanao Examiner.

He said another boat passed near them, but ignored their pleas for help. “We were drifting for nearly an hour. Really lucky because there were no sharks around,” he said.

Butlangan said members of D’ Alert group, an amateur radio club based in Siasi Island, dispatched a rescue team after learning of the incident. Salip Sarrapudin, head of the group, escorted Butlangan’s group back to Siasi.

Butlangan said he was contacted by Bobiar and Ecaranum and requested him to go with them to Siasi where Globe Telecom is planning to put up the tower.

“I was so eager to go with them because I know that Sulu is really on its way to becoming a productive province and people in that island will soon enjoy the luxury of digital communication. I have no regret…just lending a helping hand for the good of Sulu,” he said. (Mindanao Examiner)

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