MANILA, Philippines, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. Navy ship USS McCampbell, proceeding to Manila, rescued five stranded Filipino fishermen off Lubang Island, officials said.
The McCampbell, one of the ships escorting the U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington, reached the waters where the fishermen's boat had begun to take on water Tuesday night, ABS-CBNnews.com reported, quoting the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
The report said the boat had almost gone down before the fishermen were rescued.
"The five men were quickly recovered and taken on board the McCampbell, approximately one hour after initial discovery. The individuals were evaluated by the ship's medical personnel and found to be in good health," the embassy said.
Philippines' Inquirer quoted U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Tina Malone as saying U.S. pilots "spotted the five men flashing a lighter while standing on the roof of their boat, the only part of it left above water."
On arrival in Manila, the rescue ship's commanding officer Capt. T.J. Dickson said one of his helicopter pilots noticed a flare in the international waters and his ship immediately raced to the scene at 30 knots to render assistance, ABS-CBN reported.
"We got over there in time," Dickson said.
The USS George Washington arrived in the Philippines for a goodwill visit.