On 9th June 2014, while waiting her next voyage instructions South of Malta the MT Sea Wish received a distress call.
After almost 4 hours of searching, the crew spied a small floating target.
Captain Snehal S Nagawade said: “At 1800 as the vessel was approaching close towards this target, it appeared to take the shape of a boat just a foot or two above the sea surface with many colours being waved at us. As we got closer, I could hear people screaming for help and as we closed in we were met with an unbelievable sight.
“Over a hundred people were struggling to find some space to keep their feet on an inflated rubber base. Yes, it was a rubber inflated boat about 10 metres long carrying over a hundred souls.”
Due to the sheer number of survivors the boarding operation had to be carefully deployed. Keeping the MRCC and DPA informed throughout, the crew of the Sea Wish worked as a perfect team, quickly acting to rescue the men from the tiny rubber craft.
All 104 men found on board the 10 metre long rubber dinghy were rescued. Coming from an unidentified African country they had made an attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to find refuge. A conversation with a few of the survivors revealed that they had been at sea for the past 3 days, cramped up in the rubber boat.
Thanks to the efforts of the Chief Cook and quick action of the Mess Man the ship was able to cope with the sudden population surge onboard and maintain a high standard of hygiene – vital to the long term health and safety of those working at sea.
The vessel reached Catania on 10th June where the authorities permitted the survivors to disembark.
Captain Nagawade said: “I wish to conclude by saying that inter departmental coordination, swift planning and action, and the effective use of ship recourses can lead an operation to the apex of success.”
V.Ships Monaco GM Crewing Operations Luca Fanciulli added: “On behalf of all V.Ships and Monaco Office we express our sincere congratulations and gratitude for the successful rescue operation carried out by Captain Nagawade and all crew on board. We are extremely proud of this exemplar action which has contributed to saving 104 human lives and confirms the best tradition of a seaman’s life.”
Well done to Captain Nagawade and his crew for an incredible rescue!