Funeral services held today for sailor who died in storm

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Widow questions why the ship was not re-routed and why crewmen were kept working on deck under that condition.

Opinion

Teodoro ‘Ted’ Alcuitas

Editor, PhilippineCanadianNew.com

Funeral services are being held today in Halifax, N.S. for Jake Marinduque, the 30-year old Filipino seaman who died during a storm aboard the M/V Guilia on January 30, 2021.

The body will be flown back to the Philippines, according to our source.

Marinduque, died of head, chest and spine injuries, Canadian authorities reportedly told his family,according to a report by Inquirer.Net U.S. Bureau, a news partner of PhilippineCanadianNews.Com (PCN.Com).

Three other crew members were injured and a helicopter was supposed to medivac them but was unable to do so due to the bad weather, reports Inquirer.

Marinduque’s widow, Kathleen, is asking why the ship was not re-routed in the face of turbulent weather and why the crewmen were kept working under that condition. Kathleen also urged the Philippines’ Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to probe the crewmen’s working hours and an alleged lack of rest days.

An unprecedented outpouring of support from the community in Halifax has inundated the surviving seafarers who have been confined to quarters on board the ship. The ship has been moored since it arrived in the Port of Halifax awaiting repairs and completion of investigations by Canadian authorities.

Led by Philippine Consul Connie Lacson community members have mobilized to bring donations of food, toiletries, etc. to the crew on board the ship. All donations were being facilitated and delivered to the seafarers by Jake Salcedo who, using social media, through the Facebook group Nova Scotia Pinoy Tambayan, has tapped into the Filipino spirit of Bayanihan.

The crew’s spirits has certainly been lifted with how the Filipino community as well as others have shown their support and solidarity during this traumatic event.

Donations of food including a lobster dinner just kept pouring almost daily.

Significantly,cash donations enabled the purchase of cell

Phone SIM cards for the whole crew which were much appreciated as it provided much-needed link to the families back home.

According our source, four crew members have been flown back to the Philippines and three others arrived. The ship has to have a full crew before it can continue its trip to Africa.

Here is a post by a member, Elizabeth Eustaquio-Domondon  of Nova Scotia Pinoy Tambayan:

“Nova Scotia Filipino- Canadian Community opens their heart and generosity to Seafarers who took shelter at the Halifax Port after a harrowing incident causing the loss of a life and injury  to a number of crew and damaged to the vessel that occurred during a stormy day at sea.

Heavy storms, rough seas, high waters and isolation from families is probably an ordinary occurrence and expected experience of any seafarer as part of their job working out there in open waters of the far and wide ocean bringing  and transporting commodities  maintaining global economy. 

However, the loss of a crew member who is a friend and  a brethren that is  a part of their seafaring family is  a different story.  

MV Guilia with all Filipino crew including the captain arrived at the port of Halifax on an unscheduled visit  for  the  repair of their damaged vessel. 

The story behind their arrival has been out in the news, however following regulations at the port and the protocol of the pandemic, visits are to be channelled to the proper authorities. 

The Halifax Mission to Seafarer’s  team made  the initial contact to the crew bringing some basic  winter supplies, basic necessities and a comforting treat of “Tim’s” on board the ship berthed at the pier. Thank you to Helen Glenn, Joseph and the Halifax Mission to Seafarer’s for the initial provisions on their arrival. 

Following regulations and CoVID protocols, Ms.  Connie Lacson of the Philippine honorary consulate in Halifax  with her 2 children Micah Micah Adrienne Lacson and Adrian, Jake Salcedo and Scarlet Filipino community leaders of  NS Pinoy  Tambayan and myself, of the Fil- Can friends of the Mission  to Seafarer’s  Halifax was allowed access and visitation on board the vessel. 

As permitted  entry to the port, we immediately made scheduled visits to meet the crew, check on their well- being and brought supplies of  cooked  foods, baked goodies, basic supplies of hygiene care packs all  from the immediate response and donations of a caring community. Most importantly, we brought ourselves to personally offer our sympathy and support to everyone on board feeling desolate after a tragic event. That we are personally with them providing comfort  and support during this unexpected crisis that beset them out in the sea during the time of pandemic. 

In our little way, we support the crew as they heal and remain strong  and recover physically and emotionally as they continue the seafaring job  that provides for their families back home.

 Our Team of Connie, Jake and myself, became the transporter of  food and supplies that are contributed from the kindness and generosity of  community members. 

In our visits, it is evident how the simple show of support and care and little things can mean a lot to a seafarer. Every word of thank you is felt as deep and sincerely uttered by everyone on board. 

Understanding the need  for connection with their loved- ones and the outside  world as the crew remained on board their vessel while stationed at the Halifax port, the millennial member of our team, Micah Lacson provided them the Wi-fi connection via donations from the community. Technology is life! Given the Wi-fi card gave a smile on their faces! 

As we frequent our visits checking in on them and delivering more supplies and hot meals that continuously pours in from the community, it is evident that our presence in representation of the larger Fil-Can community in the HRM is welcomed and appreciated by them. 

This we want to echo and express back to everyone who become part of this collective work of the community who generously and selflessly come together and contributed  in small and big ways, offered their loving thoughts and concern including those who  continually praying for them and  their families. 

“Caring for our Seafaring brethren’s! “ 

Mabuhay!


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