Filipino Sailor Awarded by Swedes

Filipino sailor Jesus Sumook was honoured as a hero in a ceremony at Lynnterm, Port of Vancouver in North Vancouver, B.C., October 5, 2010. In 2006 Sumook was helping to unload a ship full of B.C. wood pellets at a Swedish port when he saved the life of a worker who had fallen unconscious in the hold.
 
Filipino sailor Jesus Sumook was honoured as a hero in a ceremony at Lynnterm, Port of Vancouver in North Vancouver, B.C., October 5, 2010. In 2006 Sumook was helping to unload a ship full of B.C. wood pellets at a Swedish port when he saved the life of a worker who had fallen unconscious in the hold.

The ceremony took place aboard the Saga Tucano, which is now in the port of Vancouver. Sumook is working aboard the vessel, and the presentation was arranged after the foundation finally tracked him down.


Sumook, a father of two, said he refused to give up on the dockworker as long as he had a pulse.


He began to administer CPR.


“Then he began to gasp,” Sumook said, smiling as he recalled the moment back in November 2006 in the port of Helsingborg.


Asked Tuesday if he felt like a hero, Sumook laughed, shaking his head.


“But I am proud,” he said, adding that his daughters — aged 10 and 6 — have both told him they are proud of him too.


“That makes me very happy.”


Present to congratulate Sumook Tuesday were representatives of local labour groups, including the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents dockworkers like the man that Sumook saved.


The Carnegie Hero awards were established worldwide in the early 1900s as a way of recognizing civilian acts of bravery.


It took the Swedish organization more than two years to find Sumook as the sailor moved from port to port on his global schedule. Many of the ports had no Swedish representative, complicating the effort.


Tuesday, he received an inscribed gold watch, a certificate and a cheque. A lunch was also organized as part of the celebration.


“It is for heroism,” said Anders Neumuller, Sweden’s consul in Vancouver.


“It is a story that really needs to come out so that more people see what they can do in a situation like that.”


Capt. Clifford Faleiro, operations manager for Saga, added:“That he risked his own life to save someone else’s speaks volumes about what he did, and I think he rightly deserves all the praise and recognition he is getting.”


 

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