UAE satellite phone helps save lives of 7 stranded fishermen from Philippines

The vessel the men were travelling in sank when it hit turbulent waters, leaving them adrift until they were able to use the phone to establish contact with their families


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 2 Jan 2023, 5:38 PM

Last updated: Mon 2 Jan 2023, 9:03 PM

A UAE company’s satellite phone has helped rescue seven fishermen who were stranded in waters between the Philippines and Indonesia.

Yahsat hosted a celebratory ceremony in the Philippines after its Thuraya XT-LITE satellite phone helped save lives of the fishermen stranded in the Pacific Ocean.

In November 2022, the seven fishermen faced turbulent waters on their journey, leading to their vessel sinking. Using the Thuraya XT-LITE, the fishermen were able to establish contact with their families to inform them of the incident. The families then established connection with the local service partner, DelNet, which informed Yahsat’s offices in Singapore of the situation. Yahsat’s customer care team was able to top-up credit on the Thuraya XT-LITE, and the fishermen were subsequently able to coordinate with the Coast Guard and provide them with their GPS location.

“The success of the search and rescue mission highlights the role of satellite communications and critical connectivity in crisis situations. Yahsat is well positioned as a global satellite operator with a fleet of five satellites that reach more than 80 per cent of the world’s population, to enable critical connectivity,” the company said.

Through data and mobility solutions such as the Thuraya XT-LITE, the group has provided support to governments and international organisations to resolve humanitarian crises. Through Yahsat Saving Lives, the group has helped address distress calls involving earthquakes and at sea that have contributed to saving the lives of nearly 130 people in 2022 across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

UAE Ambassador to the Philippines, Mohamed Obaid Alqataam Alzaabi, said: “Yahsat, as a global satellite solutions provider, has represented the values of the UAE in relation to humanitarian support and aid by assisting in urgent search and rescue missions during crises.”

Ali Al Hashemi, chief executive officer of Yahsat, said through incidents such as these, Yahsat recognises the power of satellite communications and the role it can play in saving lives during a time of crisis. “We are well placed to provide support in such instances through our network of on-the-ground partnerships, connectivity solutions, and operations that are designed to drive a fast and effective response.”

Klaas Oreel, DelNet CEO, said: “Every day, thousands of Filipino fishermen embark upon long and often dangerous voyages to bring home vital supplies to local families and international markets … Today, we celebrate the lives of the seven brave fishermen who were rescued due to the availability of secure satellite communications.”


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