Navy troops rescued 11 Vietnamese nationals whose boat suffered engine trouble while fishing in the West Philippine Sea, just a few miles off Palawan, the Navy said Monday.

Troops on the BRP Ismael Lomibao sighted the foreigners’ fishing vessel QNG 90207 TS some 10 nautical miles east of Bugsuk Island, Balabac, Palawan, and towed it to shore 7 a.m. Sunday, Navy spokesman Col. Omar Tonsay said.

The Vietnamese crew have undergone medical checks at the Balabac Health Center and all were found to be safe and sound, he said.

Investigation showed that the fishing boat came from Quay Ngai, Vietnam. The crew were said to be fishing some 1,500 yards west off the Discovery Great Reef when the boat’s engine conked out on Nov. 6.

“No contraband was found onboard,” Tonsay said, citing information from Coast Guard personnel who boarded the vessel.

The Vietnamese crew is now asking their embassy to have the vessel repaired and will depart upon completion, he said. (John Roson)

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