Navy units rescued 63 passengers and 12 crew of a motor launch drifting off Sulu after encountering engine trouble Wednesday, the military said yesterday.
Armed Forces Western Min-danao Command spokesman Major Filemon Tan said Naval Task Group Sulu deployed two gunboats, the BRP Manuel Gomez and BRP Florencio Inigo, after receiving reports the vessel M/L Nadzramar stalled in the vicinity of Bubuan Island shortly after leaving Pangutaran Island for Zamboanga City.
The Navy vessels found the M/L Nadzramar drifting some 2.1 nautical miles northeast of Minis Island, Sulu. The launch had 1,453 sacks of charcoal, 298 sacks of copra, and 45 sacks of dried seaweeds as cargo.
Tan said the launch was towed to Jolo Pier by BRP Ivatan and was over to Coast Guard Station Sulu.
(Francis T. Wakefield)