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Missing US sailors land in Philippines

MANILA, January 24, 2011 (AFP) – Five American sailors who had been missing at sea for nearly two weeks stepped ashore in the Philippines on Monday in good condition, coastguard officials said.

The 28-foot (8.5 metre) vessel ‘The Pineapple’, whose disappearance sparked a search by US and Philippine coastguards, was found at sea on Sunday and docked on Monday, said coastguard spokesman Commander Armand Balilo.

“All the five Americans on board are in good physical condition,” he told reporters.

Photographs released by the coastguard showed the five Americans on board the yacht smiling and in good spirits although their skin had been darkened by the sun.

The boat docked in the central island of Leyte for repairs and provisions, Balilo said.

The boat left Guam on January 6 but failed to arrive in the Philippines on January 16 as scheduled.

Relatives of the sailors then asked the US Coast Guard to help find them.

Balilo said the broken rudder had prevented the vessel from making its scheduled arrival time.

A US embassy spokeswoman said they had been informed of the boat’s arrival and that those on board were all well, but had no further details.

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