Pinoy seaman dead after pirate attack

Posted at 05/17/11 8:04 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A Filipino seafarer was found dead aboard a Marshall Island-flagged ship, 4 days after it was attacked by pirates on the coast of Benin, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Tuesday.

Christopher Cortez Ceprado was found dead on May 11 after his vessel, the chemical tanker MT Sea King, was boarded by heavily armed pirates on May 7 at the anchorage of the port of Cotonou in Benin, the DFA said, quoting the vessel’s local manning agency.

Seventeen Filipinos man the vessel.

The pirates ransacked the vessel, stole its equipment and the personal belongings of the crew. No other crew was reported injured. 

The DFA did not say if pirates killed Ceprado.

The victim's remains were brought to a mortuary in Cotonou for autopsy, the DFA said. 

The ship is currently anchored in Cotonou, while authorities investigate the attack.

The DFA's Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers' Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) said it is coordinating with the ship's local manning agency on the repatriation of Ceprado's remains and the provision of benefits. 

It has also instructed the Philippine embassy in Abuja to coordinate with authorities there on the investigation of the incident and help repatriate the Filipino seafarer's body.

The local manning agency said it has contacted the victim's family and is coordinating with the vessel's principal and agent in Cotonou, maritime authorities, and the Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Club representatives.