The commanding officer and crew of EU Naval Force warship ESPS Numancia have received a heartfelt thank you from the crew of chemical tanker MT Perla, after the Spanish frigate provided assistance to two seriously injured Filipino sailors after they suffered severe burns in a fire on board their merchant ship.
The fire onboard MT Perla broke out in the engine room late afternoon on Friday 7 June. With ESPS Numancia just over 200 nautical miles away and HMAS Newcastle, which is part of the Combined Maritime Forces, in the vicinity, both warships were able to close the sea area to provide assistance.
At first light on Saturday 8 June, the helicopter from HMAS Newcastle flew the injured men on board HMAS Newcastle. With both suffering from third and second degree burns and showing signs of smoke inhalation, the medical team on board HMAS Newcastle was able to provide the much-needed first response care.
As the sailors’ injuries then required specialist medical attention, they were transferred to ESPS Numancia, as she was due to visit The Seychelles the following day.
ESPS Numancia arrived in Port Victoria in the Seychelles on Sunday 9 June and with an ambulance waiting, both injured sailors were transferred to a nearby hospital for further treatment. As they departed ESPS Numancia, both men thanked the warship’s crew for their dedicated care and attention.
This was in fact the second medical evacuation carried out by ESPS Numancia over the last few days; the previous one having been that of a member of the crew of RFA “Fort Victoria” to Salalah (Oman).
Speaking about the medical assistance given to the two injured sailors from MT Perla, the Commanding Officer of ESPS Numancia, Commander Luis Díaz-Bedia Astor, said: “I am really proud of my crew. As EU Naval Force has once again shown, as well as deterring piracy on the high seas, our warships are always ready to assist mariners in peril at sea.”
ESPS Numancia has been part of the EU’s counter piracy ‘Operation Atalanta’ since 3 April 2013.
Press release, June 13, 2013; Image: EUNAVFOR