Twenty-one Filipino seafarers were rescued by a Chinese vessel early this month after their ship sank along Vitiaz Strait in Northern New Guinea, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a news release Tuesday.
The seafarers, led by Captain Jonathan Montel, were crewmembers of MV Foxhound, which sank October 17 due to inclement weather in the area.
"After experiencing inclement weather which led to the sinking of MV Foxhound, Captain Montel and his crew sent a distress signal and later boarded a lifeboat," the DFA said.
The call reached MV COSCO Shanghai, a UK-registered and Chinese-owned vessel, which came and retrieved the Filipino seafarers from the lifeboat.
According to the DFA, MV COSCO Shanghai, owned by China Ocean Shipping Company Group or COSCO Group, arrived in Port Botany in Sydney, Australia, on October 22.
"The Filipino seamen were met onboard the ship by Consul Marford Angeles and Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) Officer Erlinda Albay of the Philippine Consulate General in Sydney to ascertain their condition," it said.
The DFA added that in coordination with HWL Ebsworths, the insurance agent in Sydney of MV Foxhound, the Consulate made arrangements for a team of Filipino-Australian doctors and a psychologist to conduct medical and psychological examination of the 21 Filipino seafarers.
According to Montel, all his crewmembers’ needs were attended to by the crew of MV COSCO Shanghai, including its captain, Shen Xiao Xing.
"Captain Montel related that Captain Shen even asked them if the food given to them onboard his ship was to their liking as he wanted to ensure that they were satisfied and comfortable," the DFA said.
The DFA also said HWL Ebsworth made arrangements for the return flight of the 21 seafarers to the Philippines within the month. —KBK, GMA News