MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said that the remains of the Filipino seafarer who died in a lifeboat drill of a cruise ship docked in Spain’s Canary Islands would be repatriated back to the country soon and that Philippine authorities in Spain were closely monitoring the investigation of the case.
In a press briefing Tuesday, Assistant Secretary and DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez said the Philippine embassy in Spain, headed by Ambassador Carlos Salinas, confirmed that a Filipino was one of five people who died after they were trapped under a lifeboat that had fallen into the water from a height of 20 meters off the Thomson Majesty during a safety drill on Sunday. Reports had earlier noted that a Ghanian and three Indonesians also died in the incident.
“The body of the Filipino is in the mortuary under the custody of the local Spanish police pending completion of the investigation,” Hernandez said.
“The local ship agent assured that the remains be will be repatriated back to the Philippines as soon as authorities give the proper clearances and permission,” he added, noting that the embassy was closely monitoring the case and was ready to provide appropriate assistance for the immediate repatriation of the remains of the Filipino.
Hernandez said the DFA had notified the family of the Filipino fatality but refused to give the name and other details.
Hernandez also confirmed that another Filipino crewman was “slightly injured” because of the incident but that he had been released from a hospital.
Wire reports had earlier said that the cable pulling the lifeboat back up after the drill snapped as it was being raised.
As the cable broke, the lifeboat fell to the water upside down, trapping the crewmen under it, reports said.
The report, quoting a Thomson Cruises spokesman, noted that there were 1,498 passengers on board the 20-year-old ship at the time of the incident but none of them was involved in the mishap.