Mission to Seafarers Manila supports seafarer shot during piracy ordeal

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mission to seafarersThe Mission to Seafarers Manila has come to the aid of a Filipino seafarer and his family after a tanker was attacked by pirates. 2nd Mate Edwin Acasio and the crew of the MT Leon Diaz were transiting the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria Africa when they were boarded and held hostage. In the attack Edwin was shot and seriously injured.  After reaching hospital in the Port of Cotonou Benin, he was treated in intensive care for stomach and hand injuries.

Back in Manila the Philippines Edwin’s wife and two young daughters turned to their local church for help. The Revd Fr. David O. Hinay, of the Philippine Independent Church (IFI), then contacted the Mission immediately. The IFI is working in partnership with The Mission to Seafarers, to provide help and advice to crews and their families. Revd David said: “I met with the family of Edwin Acasio in February this year, and they told me that he has been shot and wounded after an attack by pirates. The crew had been robbed and he was seriously injured. The family was extremely distressed and anxious for him.”

The Mission talked to the ship agents and established where Edwin would be taken care of. They then arranged for him to be flown home from Benin to hospital in the Philippines. Revd David’s role included keeping in contact with the Mission team, liaising with Edwin’s employers and holding prayers with the family. It was a great help to them in their time of need. Everyone was delighted when Edwin arrived back home and the Mission made regular visits to the hospital. Thankfully he is now firmly on the mend.

The Revd Canon Stephen Miller, Regional Director for the Mission in East Asia, said: “This partnership with the IFI in Manila is already proving to be crucial to ensure that the welfare needs of seafarers and their families are met all over the world. This is a tragic case and highlights the fact that there is a very real and present danger of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, which the Mission continues to monitor. I am deeply grateful to Revd David for his swift intervention and to the IFI in Manila for working with us to provide this critical care locally. I offer Edwin and family my prayers and best wishes for his full recovery.”