Yahsat has hosted a celebratory ceremony in the Philippines after a key solution, the Thuraya XT-LITE satellite phone – pioneered by its mobility business, Thuraya – enabled the rescue of seven fishermen who were stranded in waters between the Philippines and Indonesia.
The event saw the attendance of the UAE Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Mohamed Obaid Alqataam Alzaabi; Adnan Al Muhairi, Yahsat Chief Technology Officer; Klaas Oreel, DelNet CEO; Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Philippines Climate Change Commission; PCG CG LTJG Jherich Ybanez of the Philippines Coast Guard; and the fishermen and their families. During the event, Yahsat recognised the contributions of the key partners, including DelNet, the Philippines Coast Guard and Navy, while donating a Thuraya XT-LITE satellite phone to the fishermen and the Thuraya MarineStar terminals, which enable data and tracking services, to the Coast Guard.
In November 2022, seven fishermen on a fishing vessel were faced with turbulent waters, 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 of the impacted fishermen were able to establish 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. This connectivity is enhanced through the solutions offered by its mobility subsidiary business, Thuraya, and its data solutions provider, YahClick. Yahsat has consistently demonstrated its commitment to deploying its full suite of resources to support societies with connectivity services that improve safety and enhance quality of life across critical industries such as education, healthcare, national security, and economic development.
The group additionally has a commitment to its Saving Lives initiative as a signatory to the United Nations Crisis Connectivity Charter, which aims to improve the way the global satellite community meets the communications needs of those impacted by disasters. 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.
His Excellency 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. It gives me great pride to see the role of their solutions in driving connectivity during times of need, thereby cementing the importance that we place on cross-border collaboration. We would like to thank Yahsat, DelNet, and the Philippines Coast Guard and Navy, which were instrumental in saving the lives of these seven individuals.”
Ali Al Hashemi, Chief Executive Officer of Yahsat, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the bravery and resilience of the seven fishermen today and our partners, including DelNet, the Philippines Coast Guard, and Navy, which played a key role in ensuring swift action. At Yahsat, we pride ourselves in our ability to enable search and rescue missions through our mobility solutions and are humbled to be marking this landmark achievement in the presence of the UAE Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Mohamed Obaid Alqataam Alzaabi. 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, 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. As a specialist in satellite communications, DelNet has been able to secure the partnership of global industry leaders such as Yahsat in combination with its subsidiary Thuraya to offer the best solutions available in the industry for fishermen and seafarers. Today, we celebrate the lives of the seven brave fishermen who were rescued due to the availability of secure satellite communications.”