Ship captain honored after Cuban rescue

A Greek sea captain was awarded yesterday for turning around a cruise ship with 2,800 people on board, into winds of up to 6 Beaufort, to save 12 illegal immigrants lost at sea near Cuba. The Masters and Mates’ Union of the Greek Merchant Marine (PEPEN) awarded Theodoris Mitropoulos for the brave act that took place in March 2007. The 11 illegal immigrants, including one child, were picked up 120 nautical miles off the southern coast of Cuba by the CRV Century cruise ship after drifting for seven days without food or water. «It is every sailor’s duty not to be indifferent when human lives are at risk at sea,» said Mitropoulos, who has been involved in another three rescue operations. PEPEN awarded another nine sea captains for their rescue efforts in 2007.