Two stranded Filipino seafarers were safely repatriated in the Philippines after they were left stranded in Iran as they got offloaded by their vessel, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed.
The two seafarers were identified as Jerry Gabanzo and Miguel Estrella, Jr. They were crewmembers of MV Blue Nile, a United Arab Emirates-owned ship which arrived at the Port of Chabahar, Iran last April 1.
April 16, the Philippine Embassy only learned about their condition when one of the seafarer’s wife contacted them through email, Philippine Ambassador to Iran Wilfredo Santos said in an interview.
Immediately, a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran sent the much-needed help to the Filipino seafarers. They were held in custody in the meantime.
Members of the Philippine Embassy team went to Chabahar, a seaport located at around 1,800 kilometers away from the capital city, and brought the Filipino men to Tehran last April 24.
Their concerns were immediately brought up by the Philippine Embassy to their manning agencies in Manila including their unpaid salaries as well as other necessary benefits.
It only took a day to process all the necessary documents that the two men need to return home to the Philippines, thanks to the help of the Immigration Office in Tehran and other government offices.
Consul General Alfredo M. Borlongan accompanied the distressed seamen with their flight back to the Philippines in the morning of April 26.
The reason why they were offloaded from the Dubai-based ship remains unknown.