Published: Sunday August 5, 2012 MYT 2:09:00 PM
Marine police help rescue 30 storm-hit, starving Filipinos
By MUGUNTAN VANAR
KOTA KINABALU: Marine police braved stormy weather conditions and trekked nearly two-hours on foot to help in the rescue of 30 Filipinos whose storm-hit boat drifted into Pulau Balambagan in northern Sabah on Sunday.
All 30 on board - 25 men, two women and three children - were suffering from lethargy from hunger after being marooned for about five days in the Lok Simpol area.
They were weak and were immediately given food and water, Kudat police chief Deputy Supt Dawi Ossen said.
The children aged between 1 and 13 years and the adults aged between 19 and 55 were handed to the Malaysian Red Crescent which will immediate shelter and food assistance pending their return to Philippines.
Dawi said the victims were on a domestic trip from the Philippines island of Tawi Tawi to Balabac when they were hit by strong waves during a storm sometime after July 28.
They were adrift in sea for several days before they hit land (Pulau Balambagan) during the wee hours of August 3.
He said Marine police men were informed at about 4.30am about people marooned on the island and a special team of 20 men with two marine police boats immediately rushed to the scene under an operation codenamed Ops Gelora to rescue them despite continued foul weather.