US Navy vessel rescues five Filipino fishermen

Featured South East Asia - October 25th, 2012

A US vessel rescued five Filipino fishermen early Tuesday morning after their boat capsized off the coast of an island in the Visayas region.

The guided missile destroyer, Arleigh Burke-class USS McCampbell, launched two boats to pull the fishermen out of the water after they were spotted by helicopter pilots during a routine night-time flight operation, US Embassy information officer Tina Malone told AFP.

“The helicopter pilots notified nearby ships from the USS George Washington carrier strike group, and rescue efforts were immediately initiated,” Malone said in a statement. “The five men were quickly recovered and taken on board the McCampbell, approximately one hour after initial discovery. The individuals were evaluated by the ship’s medical personnel and found to be in good health.”

According to reports, the fishermen were flashing a lighter while standing on the roof of their boat – the only part left above water. Their boat started taking on water early Tuesday morning and had nearly sunk by the time they were found.

The USS McCampbell, along with the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens, accompanied the US Navy’s aircraft carrier USS George Washington now docked in Manila Bay for a routine port call and to conduct exchanges with the Philippine Navy, including a community relations programs.

The USS George Washington dropped anchor in Vietnam as part of Washington’s “pivot to Asia” in a strategic show of force towards China over troubled waters.