A discussion with the Maritime Authority of Tenerife

Academia, Associations, Events, Conferences,Forums and Symposiums, Maritime Education and Training — By on February 27, 2016 at 2:39 PM
l to r: Leandro Melgar, Antonio M. Padrón and Diego Dobos

l to r: Leandro Melgar, Antonio M. Padrón and Diego Dobos

On the occasion of a homework requested by their teachers, two young students from
the DOMINICAS VISTABELLA College interviewed Capt. Antonio M. Padrón y Santiago,
“IMO Maritime Ambassador” and Maritime Authority of Tenerife

A discussion with the Maritime Authority of Tenerife
with Diego Dobos Roso & Leandro Melgar Gallifa

“My job is like a dream, ” said the recently appointed Maritime Ambassador of the International
Maritime Organization (IMO), with only 26 members designated all over the world, including our
interviewee.

With his 53 years, Capt. Antonio M. Padrón y Santiago, who was born in Marin, a small village of
Pontevedra and, as he says, from “the green Galicia …” is a civil servant who pass a public
examination restricted to seafarers.

“I have lived difficult moments, and situations that have taught me lessons about life” tells us.
This Maritime Captain remember one of the arrivals of small boats with irregular immigrants to the
south of our island. “It was a moment of total pressure” he explains with goosebumps. And it was
a story so hard to forget …

One night, during the crisis with “cayucos” (in 2006 and early 2007), a small boat was towed by
the search and rescue service. The first step was to take out women and children from the boat,
while men were waiting inside the tug. However, one of the children, resisted and rejected the help
given by rescue teams. “My daddy, my daddy …” the boy shouted exasperated …

This boy spoke French, and after exchanging a few words with the interpreter, Capt. Antonio and
the other members of the team embarked into the tug. They looked to his father, and the little boy
pointed to one of the men. However, he denied being his father …

“He was his father really, ” he explains, “but denied it because if a child entered into Spain without
the family -unaccompanied children-, he could remain in our country with the opportunity to study
and progress in life” …

“Since that day I have a completely different point of view about what immigration means.”
Before saying goodbye, he said, “if you find a job you like … you will never work, ” referring to the
good fortune to enjoy with your work …

A great lesson !

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