MANILA, Philippines – A Vietnamese vessel allegedly fishing in the West Philippine Sea rescued nine members of a family whose boat developed engine trouble off Palawan over the weekend.
Rescued were Julmirin Biahe, 39 his wife Jane, 33, and their children Sanalyn, 16 Juname, 14 Jason, 10 Jeban, 6 Jayjay 4 Lorince, 3, and one-year-old Juliana, of Balabac Island, Palawan.
“If they had not been rescued by the Vietnamese ship, they would have drifted farther west or run aground somewhere. They could have died,” a source said.
The family reportedly came from Malaysia and was returning to Balabac Island on May 8 when their fuel ran low.
To save fuel, Julmirin switched off the boat’s engine, causing them to drift away.
The next day, the family spotted the Vietnamese vessel and turned on the boat’s engine to attract the attention of its crewmembers.
The crew informed the Vietnamese Coast Guard, who alerted the Philippine Coast Guard.
The PCG sent its monitoring vessel to meet with the Vietnamese ship at Commodore Reef to pick up the family.
The Biahes were taken to the Southern Palawan Provincial Hospital for medical checkup.