Six fishermen from Ecuador have the United States and Costa Rica to thank for their well being and getting home safely, when their fishing boat ran into foul weather in the Pacific.
According to the U.S. Navy report, the guided-missile frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46) and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) conducted a Safety-of-Life-at-Sea operation rescue October 20-21 for a fishing vessel, 200 nautical miles off the coast of Ecuador in distress and stranded for 10 days.
The US Navy report says that the Doña Tala and its six member crew was spotted early Sunday morning by Rentz’ forward lookouts. During the two-day rescue operation, LEDET personnel discovered that the vessel and six Ecuadorian nationals aboard had been struck by heavy weather, disorienting the crew and setting the small vessel 100 nautical miles off-course.
Adrift and out of fuel, the crew subsisted on bananas until Rentz arrived on scene and provided meals, ready-to-eat and approximately 120 gallons of diesel fuel; enough to return to home.
The crew aided by the U.S. ship, on Wednesday were taken to the Costa Rican port of Golfito, in the Southern zone. There, the fisherment were placed under the orders of Costa Rica’s immigration service (Dirección de Migración y Extranjería), transferring them to San José were they will be going home from in the coming days.
The survivors were identified as Jacinto Mora Chila, Luis Augusto Martínez Lazz, Eduardo Holguín Pico, Hernán Delgado Manzaba, Manuel Vicente Lemuz Chaves and Luis Yorqui Sornoza Toala.
According to Eduardo Holguín Pico, one of the fishermen, said they had sailed on Friday from the Ecuadorian port of Manta. However, he explained, strong waves, wind and rain impeded their ability to fish.
Another fisherman, Manuel Vicente Lemuz Chaves, said that at one point they were clinking to death, never expected to be rescued.
Source: La Nacion, US Navy