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Missing Indonesian fishermen safe after capsizing in Pacific

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    Agence France-Presse

Koror, Palau   /   Thu, November 23, 2017   /   01:04 pm
 Missing Indonesian fishermen safe after capsizing in Pacific A patrol vessel of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry moors at a fishing port in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). Indonesia has stepped up efforts to stop illegal fishing at home, but its five fishermen were caught on the Australian waters last month on poaching allegations. (JP/Djemi Amnifu)

The crew of a Japanese trawler found capsized in remote Pacific waters have been located safe and well in the Philippines, the US Coast Guard said Thursday.

The abandoned Gyotoku Maru No.1 was found drifting 350 kilometres (220 miles) southwest of Palau on Monday after it send an SOS message.

With no word on the fate of the seven-man crew -- five Indonesians and two Japanese -- a major international search effort was launched.

The coast guard said it turned out the trawler had collided with another fishing vessel, which then rescued the stricken sailors and took them to the Philippines.

"We're incredibly relieved these men are safe and back on dry land," search coordinator Lieutenant Commander Josh Empen said.

Empen thanked those involved in the search, which included vessels from Japan and Palau, as well as US ships and planes based in Guam.