Employer: NFD International Manning Agency, Inc., 8th – 10th floor Champaca II Bldg., Alfaro St., Makati City
The Heroes of Tampa
August 26, 2001 marks a date of enduring significance in the history of maritime navigation. M/V Tampa was cruising the Indian Ocean when a distress call was picked up from the Canberra Rescue Coordination Centre regarding a sinking Indonesian vessel supposedly with 80 people on board. Hurrying to their rescue, MV Tampa surprisingly found 438 people – including several pregnant women and children – cramped and clinging on to their lives in a badly battered 20-metre wooden vessel.
The next three days saw Tampa as the temporary abode for the hundreds of human lives who were later on discovered to be refugees and asylum seekers. Amidst the questions and controversies the rescue operation had brought to fore, the Tampa story never ended the usual way maritime rescue operations would be done. It pervades…It stirs…It conquers and shall forever be etched in the history of sailing as a monumental story of excellent teamwork, quality seamanship and above all heroism.
The Filipino Crew of MV Tampa:
Jose R. Rada
Janyfrido A. Dones
Norberto B. Lim