During the middle of March Rev Jaco Dreyer was doing ship visiting and went on board the MV Mykanos. He met her Captain, Capitan Caniete who originated from the Philippines. Jaco recognised the Captain from a video clip that we had watched about piracy at our last chaplain’s conference. The clip told the harrowing story of the MV Renuar that had been captured by pirates on 11 December 2010 of the coast of India.
Captain retold his story to Jaco but also spoke about how is faith and trust in God had ultimately saved him. Even though he suffered torture and abuse at the hands of the pirates, none of his injuries where lasting. He recounts one incident that took place after about two months in captivity. The negotiations seemed to have come to a deadlock so the leader of the pirates informed him that they were going to kill him the next day.
The Captain said that that morning he read Jer 29 and believed that God spoke to him and said that he should trust him. The next morning as the pirates prepared to take him on deck they received a radio message. The message said that the company would be prepared to continue the negotiations but only if the Captain remained alive. Cap Caniete believes that God saved his life that morning.
The Captain’s wife was also pregnant during the time that he was held by the pirates. Part of his story is how he believes God protected his baby boy and his wife during this very stressful time in their lives.
I was fortunate to be able to meet Cap Caniete when I did ship visiting during the week. We chatted to him and he agreed to come and give his testimony in the chapel that Sunday night. We invited some folk from the local churches and the chapel was fairly full. The Captain’s story spoke to those who attended and many remarked at the strength of character that this quiet man seemed to have. In his testimony he spoke more about the power of God in the face adversity than the terrible things that he endured over those 133 days in captivity.
He also spoke about the prayers of those back home who kept praying for him and his crew during their time of capture. This served as an encouragement to the people from the local churches who are often encouraged to prayer for seafarers. The Captain believes it was those prayers that gave him the strength to endure and that in the end saved his life.