After their engine failed and their anchor was lost off the coast of India’s Andhra Pradesh state in June last year, the men were left stranded in dangerous waters.
They drifted helplessly for a week in the Bay of Bengal until an oil tanker under the command of Capt Radhika Menon came to their rescue.
Her efforts have now been recognised with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.
Not only is Capt Menon the first female captain in the Indian Merchant Navy, but she is the only woman to have won the award, which recognises those who risk their own lives to save others at sea.
The Sampurna Swarajya tanker’s second officer had earlier spotted the fishing boat 2.5km away off the coast of Gopalpur in Orissa. The men had been surviving off ice from their cold storage after food and drinking supplies were washed away.