Cargo ship rescues Cuban fishermen

MV Impala Capt. Nilgie Morandarte (second from left) with the three rescued fishermen (third to fifth) and immigration port authorities of Honduras.

As posted by The Manila Times on December 27, 2023

A GENERAL cargo ship en route from New Orleans to Puerto Cortes, Honduras, rescued three Cuban fishermen last Dec. 3, 2023, after their boat malfunctioned and drifted for eight days.

The MV Impala, a vessel owned by Peter Döhle Schiffarts-KG and captained by Filipino ship master Capt. Nilgie Morandarte, reported that while underway to its next port, the ship’s second officer George Bontea spotted a wooden boat with the distressed fishermen waving a white flag.

The ship then maneuvered toward the stricken vessel, and upon closer inspection, it was discovered that the boat was flooded and sinking, with its crew looking weak and severely dehydrated.

The Impala crew rescued the three fishermen and provided them with food, water and medical attention. Shortly after, the fishing boat drifted and sank.

Upon reaching Puerto Cortes on December 5, the fishermen were safely turned over to immigration officials for further detailing and legal entry into Honduras. They will then be repatriated to Cuba.

“We are grateful to have assisted our fellow sailors in this distress. I thank my crew for their awareness, alertness, and decisiveness and our company for their unwavering support and prompt action in rescuing these fishermen,” said Captain Morandarte.

He added, “They are true heroes of the sea.”