PCG confirms 2 Pinoy fishermen rescued by Chinese vessel in Spratlys

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 23) — The Philippine Coast Guard on Saturday confirmed the report that two Filipino fishermen were rescued after seeking help from a Chinese naval vessel in the hotly contested Spratly Islands.

Chinese state media Xinhua on Friday said the fishermen approached a People's Liberation Army (PLA) naval vessel after one of them suffered wounds inflicted by propeller blades. 

According to the PCG, the incident happened in the vicinity waters west of Sabina Shoal, also known as Escoda Shoal, on Sept. 17. The area is part of the Spratly Islands, where the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan have overlapping territorial claims.

It confirmed that one of the fishermen was injured in the leg and was treated by a Chinese doctor onboard the PLA ship.

The coast guard added that it fetched the two Filipinos from the area, with PCG vessels departing on Sept. 18 and arriving there the day after.

In January this year, the PCG rescued seven Chinese crew members of a fishing vessel in waters off Guiuan, Eastern Samar after their boat's hull was damaged.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said earlier this month that Philippine troops stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal offered to assist a Chinese boat which got entangled on a mooring line while shadowing Filipino vessels during a resupply mission. The AFP said China refused the offer.