Filipino Seafarer Honored for Rescuing Yachtman in Dangerous Waters

For his effort in rescuing a sailor whose life was in imminent danger, a Filipino seafarer has been honored in London, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported Monday.

Filipino able seaman Vicente Somera of M/V Lars Maersk did not hesitate in saving mariner Steve Collins in “treacherous sea conditions, gale force winds and total darkness,” according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in its certificate of commendation to the Filipino seafarer. He was nominated for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery by the Australian Maritime Safety Agency.

In a statement, DFA said that in August 31, 2014, Somera was part of a team that helped locate Collins who jumped overboard in an attempt to grab a line thrown at him by the crew of another ship. Collins, who had been hypothermic at the time, was on a solo voyage from Australia to New Zealand when his ENYA II vessel encountered problems.

“Somera used his own body to protect Collins from being crushed by the swinging ladder in between passing swells. Several members of the MV Lars Maersk crew then ran down to assist the survivor up the vessel’s side in an arduous climb up the accommodation ladder to main deck level, 20 meters above,” the DFA statement added.

The Philippine Ambasador to the United Kingdom, Enrique Manalo, said Somera’s actions are “emblematic of Filipino seafarers’ professionalism and dedication to their work.”

“One can only be in awe of Mr. Somera’s willingness to risk his life in order to save a human life at sea,“ said Manalo.