By Priam F. Nepomuceno
MANILA, July 20 (PNA) — The USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23), a surveillance ship, rescued 11 shipwrecked fishermen while in route to Subic Bay, Zambales last Sunday.
The crew of the American ship spotted a partially submerged ship and noted debris in the water.
The USNS Impeccable master immediately deemed assistance was required and began preparations to deploy their rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) to rescue the personnel.
“This was a team effort with civilian mariners, SECDET [security detachment], MILDET [military detachment] and Lockheed Martin working together to achieve an efficient rescue of all 11 fishermen,” USNS Impeccable master Robert Wiechert said.
The RHIB made three trips to the distressed vessel and rescued all 11 individuals.
“One of the crew members spoke English,” Lt. Cory Hilgart, the theater anti-submarine watch officer, said.
“He told the Impeccable crew that they were fishermen from the Subic Bay region. He confirmed that there were only 11 on board.”
Once the mariners were brought aboard Impeccable, they were examined by medical personnel and given food and water. No serious injuries or illnesses were reported.
Shortly after the USNS Impeccable arrived in port in Subic Bay, all 11 mariners were turned over to the Philippine Coast Guard. (PNA)