The USS Blue Ridge noticed a small boat and flag floating in the Philippine Sea, and after closer inspection they noticed the boat was not moving.
“We thought it was strange to see something in the water, so we slowed down to get a better look,” said Ensign John Li, Blue Ridge officer who was on the deck during the response. “As we began looking for signs of distress, we noticed someone was waving a white T-shirt, while someone else was waving a flashlight.”
One of the sailors on the distressed boat “was being tossed around like a little toy,” added that the men were jumping up and down inside their boat, trying to get the attention of those on board USS Blue Ridge.
The USS Blue Ridge immediately deployed a team on a rigid-hulled inflatable boat and retrieved the find men.
The group told the Navy that they had been afloat for three days, drifting in the sea due to engine trouble. The men were given basic needs and food.