Pinoy seaman commended in London for ‘exceptional bravery’ at sea

  • A Filipino seafarer was cited for saving an Australian sailor stranded in a yacht in cold weather
  • He risked his life by crawling through the ladder to reach for the yachtman and used his body to protect him from the rough waves
  • The Able Seaman was awarded certificates of commendation along with other honorees

A Filipino seafarer was awarded by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with Certificate of Commendation for exceptional bravery at sea for saving the life of a hypothermic man who was trying to repair his boat.

Able Seaman Vicente Somera was cited “for his role in rescuing, in treacherous sea conditions, gale force winds and total darkness and after three challenging hours, a hypothermic sailor who had sustained several life-threatening falls attempting to repair an oil leak on his sailing vessel and who had jumped overboard in an attempt to retrieve a messenger line which had been thrown to him,” in an awarding ceremony presided by IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu in London on November 19, the DFA said in press release.

Somera, a crew member of the container ship Lars Maersk, risked his life in saving an Australian sailor, Steve Collins, in August last year.

The yachtman was aboard his Enya II which was stranded in heavy weather in the Tasman Sea, about 70 miles from the nearest land. The Lars Maersk quickly responded to the boat’s distress call and Somera had to crawl from the swinging ladder of the container ship at night to rescue Collins.

He then protected the yacthman, who was already weak and cold, from the rough waves until he succeeded in taking them both to safety. It took nearly three hours for the crew to save the Australian sailor. (Click here to read more)

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