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PCG extends help to 11 Chinese rescued off Batanes
By Evelyn Macairan The Philippine Star Updated June 06, 2012 12:00 AM 2 comments to this post
MANILA, Philippines - There may still be tension between the Philippines and China over the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, but the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) proved that it would willingly render assistance, regardless of nationality.
A medical worker attends to one of the 11 rescued Chinese at the PCG headquarters in Manila. Jonjon Vicencio
The PCG yesterday extended help to 11 Chinese nationals, comprising the crew of the pleasure yacht Tipsy Frenz that sank near Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to return to their country.
The 11 Chinese are residents of Hong Kong, a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China.
Reports said the 11 Chinese nationals – nine men and two women – were rescued by a cargo ship, M/V Easy Success, as they were aboard two life rafts drifting near Itbayat in Batanes.
The PCG’s BRP Nueva Vizcaya sailed four nautical miles from its anchorage area at South Harbor yesterday to meet with the Hong Kong-registered ship M/V Easy Success which, in turn, turned over the 11 Chinese nationals to the PCG.
Medical teams from the PCG and the Philippine Red Cross checked on the 11 foreigners, while immigration officer Norberto Quedado was on hand to check their passports.
Chan Nim Leung Leon, skipper of Tipsy Frenz, said they took part in a race last June 1 organized by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, where four teams would sail from Hong Kong to Kaohsiung, China.
Strong winds, according to Chan, battered their yacht, and last Sunday morning, it started to take in water. They were able to abandon the ship before it eventually capsized.
Before they boarded the life rafts, Chan, using a satellite phone, managed to send a distress call to Hong Kong and fired flares.
Rescued were Chan, Lau Sai-Kit Lawrence, Yong Kong Fan, Chien Ping, Cheung Ning Fiona, Ng Yiek Yee Belinda, Tang Wai Cheng, Wong Shu Fai, Ip Wah Tak, Leung Sze Yi, and Wong Yu Ching Eugene.
Yacht racing is a hobby for them. Two of them are lawyers, four are doctors, one is a nurse, one is an accountant, and three are merchants and corporate directors.
They arrived at the PCG headquarters in Manila at around 2 p.m. yesterday and were met by representatives of the Chinese embassy. – With Raymund Catindig