Red Cross assists 15 foreign seafarers in distress

Published July 7, 2020, 5:06 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has provided medical assistance to the 15 stranded foreign seafarers on board the Spanish-flagged vessel MV Celanova that was battered by Typhoon Ambo and which is now docked in a port in Manila.

Philippine Red Cross

Senator Richard Gordon, PRC chairman and chief executive officer, said a four-man team from the PRC went on board the vessel last July 3 to provide medical aid and to distribute hygiene kits and food items to the distressed seafarers.

There were 13 Cubans and two Spanish seafarers on board the MV Celanova, a Spanish LPG tanker owned by Global Gas SA from Madrid, Spain.

According to reports, the tanker had been abandoned by its owner and eventually held by Philippine port state control authorities for rudder damage and some technical issues.

The crew on board was also reportedly left without water for drinking, medicine and basic supplies, and enough food to eat.

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITWF) had requested Philippine maritime authorities to allow the ship into port to help the 15 crew onboard, claiming they were abandoned at sea “without a rudder, food, water, electricity, lights, WiFi, refrigeration, GPS, security or safety lights.”

“When we learned about the incident, we immediately sent a team to check on the seafarers’ conditions and to know what other assistance are needed so we can provide right away,” Gordon said.

“The Philippine Red Cross is always ready to help not just our fellow Filipinos but other nations and international organizations, as well,” he further said.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. expressed his gratitude to the PRC for extending assistance to the sailors.

“The timely assistance of the Philippine Red Cross shows the world the compassionate and encompassing heart of the Filipinos,” said Locsin, in a letter addressed to Gordon.

“The kind gesture manifests that we do not only take care of our own, but also other nationalities in need,” Locsin further stated.