Filipino family rescued in Celebes Sea after drifting for weeks

Jan. 17, 2013

“We survived in the sea by drinking rainwater,” Muldayah, one of the survivors

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Five Filipinos were rescued Saturday after drifting on a raft in Celebes Sea for one month, an Indonesian immigration officer reported.

“They were rescued by the SAR (Search and Rescue) team and are currently being treated in Prof Kandou Hospital in Manado,” Melgi Pahibe, Head Supervisor of the Indonesian Immigration Office in Manado, told

Manado is the capital city of North Sulawesi, a province in Indonesia.

Pahibe identified the victims as Muldayah, 40; Dulsin, 50; Jinjiani, 40, Baldaya and two-year-old Belsade.  They were found 51 miles from Amurang, Minahasa, North Sulawesi on January 12 after a two-hour search by Indonesian authorities on Friday.

The family’s boat capsized when it got hit by strong wind and waves.

“We survived in the sea by drinking rainwater,” Muldayah reportedly said.

The Celebes Sea is located in the western part of the Pacific Ocean.  It is bordered on the north by the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea and the Mindanao island.  (Mick M. Basa/

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