Regional info-sharing center aids in rescue of fisherman in West PH Sea
Information Fusion Center. FILE PHOTO FROM MINISTRY OF DEFENSE SINGAPORE
A Filipino fisherman who went missing in the West Philippine Sea last week has been successfully rescued, and an information-sharing center in Singapore appears to have played a role.
The fisherman went missing last September 14, about 45 nautical miles from Rizal Reef in the West Philippine Sea. Coast Guard vessels were deployed to locate the fisherman, Defense spokesperson Dir. Arsenio Andolong said in a statement on Wednesday.
“In addition to the Coast Guard vessels deployed to search for the missing fisherman, the Philippine government reported the incident to the Information Fusion Center (IFC) in Singapore, which in turn sent out a general notice to all vessels in the area,” he added.
The IFC, hosted by the Republic of Singapore Navy, is a regional maritime security center which facilitates information sharing and collaboration.
“The successful rescue of Mr. Apat highlights the importance of having mechanisms in place for information sharing and maritime cooperation with our countries, especially with our neighbors in the Asean,” Andolong said.
The fisherman was already transferred to Puerto Princesa City in Palawan after he was found by a Philippine fishing vessel.
A separate report from Western Command identified the fisherman as Feddy Apat, 29 years old.
He boarded a small banca to fish around Rizal Reef last week but failed to return to his “mother boat” FB Michele.
“The boat captain requested for assistance to conduct search and rescue operations in the area,” the report said.
Apat was found by fishing boat FB Glenmar B, 34 nautical miles off Cape Melville last Monday, September 17. /kga
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