Vietnamese naval officers on Friday rescued six Filipino fishermen who had been drifting at sea for 13 days, local media reported.
A Vietnamese Navy unit spotted a drifting vessel one kilometer off the Southwest Cay, part of Vietnam's Spratly Island chain, at 7:50 pm on Friday, Tien Phong newspaper reported Saturday.
The unit, based in the central province of Khanh Hoa, immediately launched a rescue operation. It picked up the six Filipino men aboard the fishing vessel 20 minutes later, the newspaper said.
Tien Phong said the crew -- Vionioco Phaitan, Loloygtnu Hilago, Gregoriang Hang, Ernanggoivan Nier, Manne Intoihiarya and Baloy Dugan -- were then given health checks as well as medicine and food.
A Vietnamese soldier on the Southwest Cay, part of the Spratly Island chain controlled by Vietnam. Photo credit: qdnd.vn
The newspaper didn’t specify their health status.
Their boat, codenamed Bat 06 – 0252, sailed out on New Year's Day for fishing. It started drifting on the East Sea, also known as the South China Sea, two days later due to an engine breakdown.
Vietnamese naval officers are processing relevant procedures to send the men back to the Philippines.