MANILA, April 12 (Xinhua) -- An Indonesian national was rescued off the waters of Tawi-Tawi, an island province in Southern Philippines on Tuesday or three weeks after his floating cottage was cut off from its anchor in Manado, Indonesia, local military said Thursday.
Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command of Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the victim, Erens Fiter, was sighted by a Filipino fisherman on the sea and the fisherman subsequently reported the presence of the distressed Indonesian to the police.
Petinglay said policemen helped Fiter get out of his cottage at 4 p.m. local time off Simunul town and promptly gave him medical attention at local police station, before turning him over to the military's Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi.
The task force later coordinated with officials of the Indonesian Border Crossing Station for background investigation and then the Indonesian side confirmed the nationality of Fiter.
"According to Fiter, his floating cottage was cut from its anchor since March 19 due to the strong winds and his cottage was cast away from the shore (in Manado, Indonesia)," Petinglay said.
"He further revealed that he had been trying to get help among passing seacrafts (before he was seen by a Filipino fisherman). However, it seemed that he was not able to catch attention," she added.
Brig. Gen. Custodio Parcon, who is in charge of Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi, said a military cooperation with Indonesia made the coordination with Indonesian authorities easier. He said Fiter is still with the task force, pending the formal turnover to the Indonesian officials.
"We are thankful that Fiter is well. Our troops are now currently processing his immediate return to his country with the help of concerned agencies," said Parcon.