Two kidnapped Malaysian seamen from tug Serudong 3 were found on boat adrift off the southern Philippines. The towing tug was hijacked by Abu Sayyaf militants, who took five hostages from the crew and held them in captivity for more than 8 months. The two Malaysian seamen – 45 years-old Tayudin Anjut and the 62 years-old Abdurahim bin Sumas, were abandoned by the gunmen before dawn near their coastal forest hideout on the Pata Island, where were found by the Philippine Navy patrol boat. The two crew were very weak and is sickly health condition, but were immediately transported to the military hospital, where will be treated.
The local authorities initiated investigation and will take witness evidence from the released seamen. Their recovery followed a Philippine military operation against the kidnappers on a nearby island early in February that left eight gunmen dead.
The towing tug Serudong 3 was attacked by pirates in July 2016. The vessel was found by drifting in eastern Sabah waters, Malaysia by the nearby vessels, but all the five crew on board were missing. the local authorities presumed that all of them were kidnapped, but there were concerns that the crew might abandon the vessel because of commercial dispute with shipowner. Unfortunately long time were not able to get in contact with neither the pirates nor the crew.