Local January 18, 2012 | 4:54 am

Ambassador lauds Dominican crewmen aboard stricken cruise ship

Santo Domingo.- Seven Dominican crew members aboard the Costa Concordia cruise that ran aground in Italy carried out their duty in exemplary fashion, helping the passengers during the disaster and were the last to abandon ship.

The statement by Foreign Relations minister Carlos Morales comes after receiving a report from ambassador in Italy, Vinicio Tobal.

Morales said the Dominican crew members will be returning to the country, while some of the four other locals who were passengers have already done so.

“Ambassador Tobal told me that we should feel proud of the Dominican employees on board the Costa Concordia and to give them the reception they deserves because they behaved in accordance with the circumstances.”

Together with Jose Darío Villar Vidal, Jose Antonio Lantigua and Martin del Rosario, identified yesterday, the official said Rubio Kelly Frómeta, Ray Francisco, Pedro Francisco Parra and Richardson Perez Santiago were also crewmen.

Except for Perez, who was hospitalized with stomach ailments and a mild fever, Morales said the group is in good health, and lodged in a hotel 67 kilometers from Rome.

He said the group went to the Dominican Embassy in Rome Tuesday afternoon, to obtain their documents travel and return immediately, “probably today Wednesday.”

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