A Filipino seafarer has been named a hero in London after rescuing a sailor in danger in 2014, the Foreign Affairs said Monday.
Vicente Somera of M/V Lars Maersk did not think twice in saving mariner Steve Collins despite "treacherous sea conditions, gale force winds and total darkness," according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in its certificate of commendation to the Filipino seafarer.
DFA said that back in August 31, 2014, Somera helped search for Collins, who jumped overboard in an attempt to recover a messenger line thrown at him by crew members of another ship.
Collins was apparently on a solo voyage from Australia to New Zealand when his ENYA II vessel encountered problems. Collins had also been hypothermic.
"Somera used his own body to protect Collins from being crushed by the swinging ladder in between passing swells. Several members of the MV Lars Maersk crew then ran down to assist the survivor up the vessel’s side in an arduous climb up the accommodation ladder to main deck level, 20 meters above," the DFA statement added.
Enrique Manalo, Philippine Ambasador to the United Kingdom, said Somera's actions are "emblematic of Filipino seafarers' professionalism and dedication to their work."
“One can only be in awe of Mr. Somera’s willingness to risk his life in order to save a human life at sea,“ said Manalo.
The Australian Maritime Safety Agency nominated Somera for the award.