2 Turkish sailors rescued off Zamboanga City

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News -

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine Navy rescued 2 Turkish sailors after their boat drifted near Zamboanga City in Mindanao, officials said.

Lt. Jose Covarrubias, a naval spokesman, said the foreigners – Ahmed Tabran, 60; and Burcu Botanoglu, 54; were safely rescued and brought to a naval station in Zamboanga City.

Covarrubias said they received a distress call from the sailboat Stormbird after its engine broke down off Sibago Island in Basilan province over the weekend. He said the boat drifted further towards Zamboanga where patrol boats towed it to the naval base here.

The boat, whose last port call was in Salam Island in Davao del Norte province, was heading to Kudat in Malaysia when its engine broke down while traversing the dangerous province of Basilan where security forces are battling Abu Sayyaf rebels.

Mayor Beng Climaco also commended the navy for rescuing the foreigners. Tabran and his companion thanked the navy for quickly responding to the distress call.

Turkish sailors Ahmed Tabran and Burcu Botanoglu with Philippine Navy officials following their rescue at sea off Zamboanga City in Mindanao.

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