Navy and Air Force rescue tuna crew that sank early Wednesday morning.
“The boat was hit by a wave, the water got in the boat and it sank. It was all of a sudden, we didn’t have time to trigger the alerts. The sea was very strong. In 43 years of experience, nothing like this ever happened to me. ”
This is how Master Gregory recalls the moments that led to the sinking of the ‘Setemar’ and left seven drifting fishermen for four days and three nights off Madeira. They were saved this Saturday afternoon when a tragedy was already in sight, after a Navy and Air Force operation located the ferry that allowed them to survive to tell the story.
The seven fishermen, aged 23 to 61, who had set sail for tuna fishing late Tuesday afternoon, were found early Saturday afternoon by an Air Force aircraft that had been mobilized for the search. . Quickly, two Navy vessels that were in the same operation were directed to the location, 40 kms from the point where they had last made the communication.
The warning was given on Friday by the vessel’s owner, who informed the Funchal port commander that ‘Setemar’ had not communicated for two days. The Navy sent an ocean patrol and a speedboat to the area, but due to the lack of results and the increased search area, an Air Force C295 from Porto Santo was fired.
“We’re fine and that’s what matters,” says master Gregory, who always believed they would be saved.