Subic Bay in the Philippines. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Five Filipino fishermen were rescued on Monday by crew members of a US cargo ship in the South China Sea. On October 3, the five men were at sea but their boat sank after the hull was punctured by the bill of a blue marlin that was about 6-feet long and weighed about 200 pounds, Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

The five fisherman had been adrift for five days before they were rescued. On Monday, cargo ship the USNS Wally Schirra was on a routine mission when it spotted the distressed fishermen.

Keith Sauls, the captain of the ship, said they were traveling at low speed when they spotted the fishermen. “The individuals were waving their arms and a flag in the air. They were also flashing a white light that was previously thought to be a fishing buoy. The watch officer notified me, then the chief mate of a possible rescue situation,” Sauls said.

The fishermen were later handed over to the Philippine Coast Guard after the US Navy received clearance to go to Subic Bay in the Philippines.