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Stranded Filipino fishermen await rescue from their sinking fishing vessel by the USNS Impeccable in the South China Sea on July 19, 2015.
Stranded Filipino fishermen await rescue from their sinking fishing vessel by the USNS Impeccable in the South China Sea on July 19, 2015. (U.S. Navy)
Stranded Filipino fishermen await rescue from their sinking fishing vessel by the USNS Impeccable in the South China Sea on July 19, 2015.
Stranded Filipino fishermen await rescue from their sinking fishing vessel by the USNS Impeccable in the South China Sea on July 19, 2015. (U.S. Navy)
Sailors and personnel from the Military Sealift Command assigned to USNS Impeccable rescue Filipino fishermen from their sinking fishing vessel with a rigid hull inflatable boat on July 19, 2015.
Sailors and personnel from the Military Sealift Command assigned to USNS Impeccable rescue Filipino fishermen from their sinking fishing vessel with a rigid hull inflatable boat on July 19, 2015. (U.S. Navy)
Filipino fishermen await rescue from their sinking fishing vessel by the USNS Impeccable in the South China Sea, July 19, 2015. The 11 fishermen were stranded roughly 115 miles from the shore of Subic Bay, Philippines.
Filipino fishermen await rescue from their sinking fishing vessel by the USNS Impeccable in the South China Sea, July 19, 2015. The 11 fishermen were stranded roughly 115 miles from the shore of Subic Bay, Philippines. (U.S. Navy)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Crewmembers aboard the surveillance ship USNS Impeccable rescued 11 Filipino fishermen in the South China Sea on Sunday, Navy officials said.

The Impeccable was en route to Subic Bay, Philippines, for a scheduled port visit when it spotted the fishermen aboard their partially submerged vessel, about 115 miles from the Subic Bay shore.

The ship’s crew launched a rigid hull inflatable boat, rescued all 11 fishermen, and released them to the Philippine coast guard upon arriving in Subic Bay on Monday morning.

It was not immediately clear why the fishing boat sunk, Navy officials said.

Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Kakiel said that as far as he was aware, the fishing boat was not in the immediate vicinity of any reefs or shoals contested by the Philippines and China, or any other nations.

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