Vice Consul Flaureen Dacanay (center, seated) and Welfare Officer Jocelyn Hapal (1st from left, seated) are joined by the Filipino seafarers onboard DST Oslo. Philippine Consulate General photo
Eighteen Filipino seafarers spent more than a month stranded on a ship off Venice in Italy after Italian authorities barred their cargo ship from entering the area due to its owners' unpaid dues.
The Panama-flagged bulk carrier MV DST Oslo was supposed to go to Port of Marghera in Venice to deliver tons of soy beans when it was arrested for debts owed by its owner
A report by GMA News stringer Chet de Castro Valencia said the ship's owner owed an oil company in Venice some 400,000 euros.
The 18 Filipinos and the other crewmembers survived for a month on donations from the Venice-based Stella Maris’ Friends charity for seafarers, according to an article on Splash 24/7.
A group of local pilots also helped the crewmen, who were stranded on the ship from March 30 to May 5, when MV DST Oslo was finally allowed to enter Venice.
Vice Consul Flaureen Dacanay and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Officer Jocelyn Hapal visited the Filipino seamen "to ascertain their conditions and ensure that their rights and welfare are protected under Philippine labor laws," according to a news release on the Philippine Consulate General's website.
"The officials interviewed the stranded FilSeafarers who appeared to be in good health and expressed thanks for the visit of the Philippine government officials," the PCG said.
The 18 Filipino seafarers were identified as:
Leonardo Rolando Buenaventura, Chief Officer
Ibañes Victorio Coroza, 2nd Officer
Mado Mari Sabarre, 3rd Officer
Banaban Luvimin Balore, 2nd Engineer
Inocencio Simeon Hernandez, 3rd Engineer
Nique Virgilio Namud, 4th Engineer
Cabug Reynaldo Laga-ac, Electrician
Delos Santos Glingly Ancheta, Able Seaman
Majarucon Alan Rey Estoce, Able Seaman
Cunanan Carlo Tena, Able Seaman
Caluza Kelvin James Lucino, Ordinary Seaman
Gabarda Gerald Gabrentina, Ordinary Seaman
Aguilar Bonifacio Prestoza, Fitter
Dimaculangan Nickson Cris Guno, Oiler
Espejo Francis Pagat, Oiler
Limet Wilfred Gajonera, Cook
Malagusan Windel Villahermosa, Messboy
Galimbas Judy Balansag, Messboy
The PCG is now coordinating with the 18 seafarers' recruiter, Evic Human Resources, for their repatriation. —KBK, GMA News