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10 months kidnapped at sea: the story of Captain Lubrano

2012-12-09

GIUSEPPE LUBRANO LAVADERA
Captain, Savina Caylyn
"Our ship was carrying crude oil, it was a civilian ship, without anything special or particular. We found ourselves in an extreme situation. It makes you think that the world we have created is not how it should be. There is a huge disparity in income, a huge disparity in wealth.”

A group of 30 Somali pirates kidnapped Giuseppe Lubrano Lavandera, captain of the Savina Caylyn, and 22 of his sailors.

GIUSEPPE LUBRANO LAVADERA
Captain, Savina Caylyn
"Each passing day was the same: with lots of anxiety, lots of frustration, and a great fear to lose your life at anytime. We lived under the command post, we ate what little they gave us, and thy forced us to sleep on the pavement. In such inhumane conditions, faith clearly intervenes.”

Their daily meals were made up of handful of rice and less than half a gallon of water. As captives, they were unable to bathe, wash their clothes, and the pirates would not allow them to contact their families. Lubrano admits that during those 10 months in which he lived in such extremes, he could only do one thing.

GIUSEPPE LUBRANO LAVADERA
Captain, Savina Caylyn
"The kidnappers were of another religion and they would tell me, 'you are praying to the wrong God'. And I would tell them no, there is only one God, but we have different names for Him.”

The painstaking negotiations for their freedom spanned several months, until their release December 25 of 2011. Nearly 316 days since they were first kidnapped, the Somali pirates told them they were free.

GIUSEPPE LUBRANO LAVADERA
Captain, Savina Caylyn
"It has been almost a year since we were freed. I remember the moment when when the pirates told us that they had reached an agreement, and that we would be going seeing our loved ones again.”

They immediately made contact with the ship that would come to their rescue. In addition to water and food, Captain Lubrano also made a very special request.

GIUSEPPE LUBRANO LAVADERA
Captain, Savina Caylyn
"We were freed on the December 25, and we took off the 26th. A chaplain arrived by helicopter and improvised an altar with a crucifix. We wanted to celebrate Mass, because we really needed it. I made an announcement on a megaphone that we were having a mass at 10. I though that only Catholics would show up. But everyone came, Muslims, Hindus. It was a moment of great unity. When it was time for the greeting of peace, we all hugged each other. It was great proof of God's presence, that he had been with us.”

Faith played an important part in their story. They held out hope, against all odds, but ended up home safe and sound.


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