By Julius D. Mariveles and Hannah A. Papasin
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The crew led by a Bacolod resident rescued 84 refugees off the coast of Italy recently.
MV Fleur N skipper Capt. Melvin Villanueva, a Bacolodnon, told DNX that he and his crew spotted the refugees who had been afloat for more than three days already.
Villanueva said he and his crew took pity on the refugees, who came all the way from Egypt and Sudan.
“It was for humanitarian reasons,” he said when asked why he picked up the refugees.
The Italian Coast Guard is already in the process of transferring the refugees to their patrol craft.
Villanueva skippers the MV Fleur N, a container ship owned by Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. based in Greece with 18 crewmembers.