By Izza Reynoso

SURVIVOR. Fisherman Rosalon Cayon (left) is assisted by a soldier stationed at Rizal Reef Detachment in the West Philippine Sea after his rescue on Monday (Jan. 1, 2024). Seen here is the improvised lifesaver he made from mostly styrofoam. (Photo courtesy of Western Command)

PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan – Chinese fishermen on New Year’s Day rescued a Filipino fisherman who had been lost at sea for eight days, staying afloat by clinging on to an improvised lifesaver.

On Dec. 23, Rosalon Cayon’s small fishing boat developed a hull breach and capsized 40 nautical miles from the Buliluyan coast in Bataraza town, Southern Palawan, the Western Command (Wescom) said on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old fisherman was able to make a floatation device out of styrofoam before his leaking boat completely sank.

Lt. Col. Rey Balido, acting spokesperson for Wescom, said Cayon sailed away on Dec. 20, together with another fisherman aboard a separate one-crew boat.

“They departed from Rio Tuba—on two separate boats. He drifted to the West Philippine Sea because his boat developed a hole,” he said.

“Chinese fishermen spotted him, aided him, and brought him to Rizal Reef Detachment (RRD),” Balido said. (PNA)