MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) – Two Filipino seafarers on board a hijacked vessel were killed during a rescue effort in Iran early this month.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the victims were among the 10 Pinoy crew members of hijacked bulk carrier MV Eglantine. The vessel had 23 crewmembers, including the Filipinos, on board.
The Cypriot-flagged and Iranian owned vessel was seized by Somali pirates off the southwestern coast of India last March 26.
“Based on the report of the Philippine Embassy in Tehran, the Iranian navy went to the place where the vessel was located,” DFA Spokesperson Raul Hernandez said on ANC’s Top Story.
The pirates allegedly used crewmen as human shields when Iranian navy conducted their rescue operation.
“Eight Filipino seamen and the rest of the seafarers were saved from their captors, while two died--one of a gunshot wound in the head, while another died of suffocation at the engine room where he sought refuge during the operation,” Hernandez said.
Meanwhile, the surviving crew members were assisted by Charge d’ Affairs Mariano Dumia of the Philippine Embassy in Tehran on Sunday. They will arrive in Manila on Wednesday, April 11 on board a Malaysian Airline Flight 804.
“The repatriation of the deceased are still being worked out and facilitated by our embassy in Tehran,” said Hernandez.
The rescue mission has resulted to the capture of 12 Somali pirates who hijacked the bulk carrier.
Hernandez said the families of the two seafarers have been notified.
“The company, Kish Shipping Lines, assured the embassy that they will provide sufficient financial compensation to the families of the deceased,” added Hernandez. With ANC