Hong Kong ship rescues missing Filipino fisherman

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 19) — A Hong Kong cargo ship spotted and rescued a Filipino fisherman in the middle of the sea off Agno, Pangasinan, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Sunday.

MV Deryoung Space, a general cargo vessel under the flag of Hong Kong, was en route to Subic, Zambales at 2:20 p.m. on Saturday when it found the fisherman who had been missing with a companion since Friday.

PCG spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo said it was also fortunate that MV Deryoung Space changed course while avoiding a weather disturbance.

"According sa chief mate, destiny ang nangyari. Styro na kinakain ng survivor," said Balilo. "Nagkataon ding Sabado, half day ang trabaho ng mga crew, kaya mga crew nasa labas. Naswertehan lang talaga umayon ang pangyayari sa survivor."

[Translation: According to the chief mate, what happened was destiny. The survivor was already eating styrofoam. It also happened to be Saturday, and the crewmen worked half day, so they were outside. It was lucky that the circumstances aligned for the survivor.]

The PCG commended the Filipino master, officers, and crew of MV Deryoung Space for the successful rescue operation.

"I recognize the exemplary professionalism and commend the humanitarian act of the master, officers, and crew of MV Deryoung Space. In the Philippine waters, our seafarers are indeed our everyday heroes," PCG Commandant CG Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan said.

Based on the investigation, the two fishermen from Agno sailed on Friday but failed to return home after their motorbanca was submerged due to bad weather conditions.

The PCG said it immediately informed transiting vessels regarding the incident for possible sightings.

The rescued fisherman safely returned to his family while a search and rescue team continued to look for his companion.