Anding Nadie Repil (fourth, right) and the Vietnamese fishermen who rescued him. Photo: Phan Kha
By Vũ Thu Hà and Paul Kennedy
HÀ NỘI — The daughter of a Filipino fisherman who has been rescued after 17 days adrift has thanked the Vietnamese authorities and fishermen for helping to save her father.
Anding Nadie Repil was thrown overboard after his boat collided tossing him into the ocean. He survived at sea for more than two weeks by holding on to a plastic can and eating seaweed, local reports say.
After his miraculous rescue by Vietnamese fishermen, his daughter spoke of her immense gratitude to the men who saved her Dad’s life.
Speaking exclusively to Việt Nam News, Mary Ann Sario Repil said she believed God guided the Vietnamese fishermen to find her father:
“We will be forever grateful for the kindness of all Vietnamese that helped and saved my father,” she said.
“We are very thankful and feel relief. We can’t imagine life without my father.
“He is the (best) father a daughter and son could ever wish for. We cried hard on the days we were looking for him.
“We couldn't even do something because of this pandemic, we are in a lockdown. So that we are very thankful that God find ways to guide and protect our father.
“God used Vietnamese fishermen to save our father. To all Vietnamese that helped and saved our father, you are all a hero.
Her 52-year-old father has told the authorities he went fishing alone on March 19 on a small boat from the port of Candria in the Philippines.
On the same day he set sail, Anding said he had fallen asleep when his boat was struck by a cargo ship, tossing him into the water around 25 miles off the coast of the Philippines.
"I was wearing a life jacket,” he has been quoted as saying. “When the boat sank I could only hug a plastic can and began to drift."
"On April 5, I thought I would perish at sea when a small Vietnamese boat appeared.
“But this small-capacity boat could not accommodate many people and it was heading out to sea for fishing, so the Vietnamese fishermen on board gave me a basket boat and some food.”
Twelve days later around 180 nautical miles off the coast of Quy Nhon City in central Bình Định Province he was picked up by another boat which took him ashore and handed him over to the authorities in Bình Định Province.
Anding added: "When the Vietnamese fishermen rescued me, I was very touched and could only cry. I have a wife and four children, I have not contacted with them for so long. Now I only want to get home."
The social media campaign started by Mary Ann Sario Repil after her father went missing at sea.
A week after her father set sail, Mary Ann began a social media campaign in the hope of trying to find him.
She created a poster and encouraged people to share it in the hope of finding her father alive.
Now, thanks to the help of Việt Nam, her wish has come true.
Võ Đình Kha, deputy director of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Binh Dinh Province, told Tuổi Trẻ newspaper that after being rescued on April 17, Anding was taken care of by the provincial authorities and arranged to stay at a hotel in Quy Nhơn City.
He said: "Currently, Bình Định authorities has completed relevant procedures to hand over Anding Nadie Repil to the Philippines Embassy in Vietnam on May 12, according to the regulations.” — VNS