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Pinoy Seamen Rescued by Iranian Navy on a Daring Mission
« on: April 10, 2012, 05:42:37 PM »
By Faye P. Velasco

Eight Filipino sailors were rescued safely in high seas by the Iranian navy but two others died during the April 2 rescue operations.

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Raul Hernandez on Tuesday said one Filipino sailor died of a gunshot wound in the head while another died of suffocation in the engine room, where he had sought refuge while the mission was underway.

Hernandez said the eight crew members who were rescued will arrive in the Philippines on April 11 via Malaysian Airlines flight 804.

The DFA also said 12 Somali pirates were captured during the Iranian navy's rescue operations.

The 10 Filipino seamen were among the 23 crew members of the MV Eglantine, a Cypriot-flagged and Iranian-owned bulk carrier, which was hijacked on March 26 off the southwestern coast of India.

Hernandez also said that according to the rescued Filipinos, when the pirates became aware of the Iranian navy's plan to stage the rescue mission, they tied the crewmen and used them as human shields in the ensuing firefight.

He added that the Kish Shipping Lines managing director in Bandar Abbas assured the Philippine Embassy that his company will provide sufficient financial compensation to the families of the deceased and facilitate their immediate repatriation.

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