Fridge ahoy! Philippine fishermen paddle fast to preserve their jobs

TANAUAN, Philippines Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:46am EST

1 of 7. A boy rests by a boat, made from a broken fridge, that just returned to a destroyed village in Tanauan November 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Damir Sagolj

TANAUAN, Philippines (Reuters) - Usually a fisherman catches a fish and puts it in the fridge. In one typhoon-wrecked Philippine village, fishermen are putting themselves in the fridge and then going fishing.

Typhoon Haiyan crashed into the central Philippines on November 8, laying waste to just about everything in its path, including all the long, stylish fishing boats moored along beaches.

More than 4,000 people, including poor farmers and fishermen, were killed.

Fishing families in Tanauan, 20 km (12 miles) south of the hardest-hit city of Tacloban, found a solution - they have been going to sea in boats made out of fridges picked up from among the rubble after the storm hit 12 days ago.

Jimmy Obaldo, 52, was the first to try it out.

"We got the idea from my children - they just asked me if we could use it as a boat. Then we tried to do it and tested it," he said.

Steering the makeshift boats, made stable with bamboo floats, is not easy. Obaldo has to paddle faster and use smaller, lighter nets.

"We started using this boat about one week ago. Most of my catch - fish, crabs, prawns - will be sold at market," Obaldo said, adding that the rest of the catch would feed his family.

(Reporting by Christoph Van Der Perre and Damir Sagolj; Editing by Nick Macfie and Robert Birsel)

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