רב חובל הארי פינטו קברניט האנייה דאמודאר טאסאקה שאסף את ניצולי האנייה מצדה הלך לעולמו בביתו בגואה הודו, יהי זכרו ברוך.
להלן מכתב האבל שפרסמה משפחתו.
RIP Capt. Joachim Harold Shantidas Pinto (Harry)
Capt. Joachim Harold Shantidas Pinto, Harry to friends, passed away on 6th March 2018. Born on 30th June 1932 in Mumbai, Harry was the 6th of 12 children of the Pinto Family. His family had a very successful coffee dealership in south Mumbai called Pinto’s Coffee. Harry Pinto started his career as a cadet in Bharat Lines; then officer with Scindia shipping and later Jayanti shipping. Harry briefly took on positions ashore at Goa with Chowgule Brothers Ltd. and Ericsson & Richards from 1971 to 1977. But the seafarer in him was not ready to hang up his sailing cap so he returned to work with Damodar Bulk Carriers; Essar Shipping & Denholm Ship Management till he finally retired in 1992.
A man of fine tastes & scrupulous integrity, an old sea dog; He was fond of reading; gardening; playing sudoku; watching movies and spending time with his grandsons. Harry had a wonderful sense of humour and he lived a great life, enriching the journey of those who knew him. Capt. Pinto spent his retirement years in Goa keeping in close contact with the shipping fraternity. He is survived by his wife Merlyn; son Vivek; daughter Nandita; son-in-law Ruchin Dayal and grandsons Aditya & Akhil.
Amongst many an adventure during his sailing days, perhaps the most interesting is the story of how Harry rescued survivors from a sinking Israeli bulk carrier in 1981. Capt. Harry Pinto was Master at the time, commanding the MV Damodar Tasaka, when he picked up a distress call from the MV Mezada. In rough seas, in co-ordination with the US Coast Guard, 9 survivors were rescued. Mali Schtaier was one of the survivors picked that fateful night; wife of the radio officer, she was pregnant at the time. Oded, the son she was pregnant with survived the ordeal too & lives in Israel. Mali visited Goa to meet Harry and spend time with his entire family in 2010. Mali Schtaier is now a dear friend of the entire Pinto Family.
Sitting – Harry & Merlyn are flanked by their younger grandson Akhil on the left and son Vivek on the right. Vivek is a Chief Eng in the Merchant Navy
Standing left to right – Aditya, elder grandson, Capt Ruchin Dayal, Son In Law & daughter, Nandita. Nandita is the elected representative of the people of the village of Issorcim in the State of Goa.
This is what Mali had to say when Harry’s daughter Nandita informed her of the sad news and also asked for first hand information of the incident.
” Your father's ship, the Damodar Tasaka, was on its way from the USA to Italy, at 11:30 am a mayday call was received aboard the ship and an Orion plane directed the ship to the sinking Mazada. Captain Pinto arrived after the ship had already sunk. When the Tasaka arrived I was aboard a lifeboat along with another 16 men including David my husband-the wireless operator of Mazda. The weather was awful- a storm, very high sea accompanied by freezing rain and strong wind. But Captain Pinto did his best to rescue the people, he ordered to navigate the ship's side as close as possible to the boat but because of the strong wind, his brave endeavors kept failing. At about 16:30 pm the lifeboat capsized down. Captain Pinto ordered his men to turn the ship and by that 'build' a wall to avoid the wind, he also ordered to shoot ropes towards the people to help them climb the ship. Captain Pinto and his crew had managed to save 8 people including myself, another sailor was picked up but unfortunately, he died soon after they rescued him. The Damodar Tasaka brought us, the survivors, to Gibraltar on March 19.
The survivors of the ship said about Captain Pinto and his crew: " The Indian ship's captain was initiative and courageous he came near the lifeboat while risking his own crew until we could touch the ship's side……the ship's crew treated us warmly. We have no words to express our gratitude to Captain Pinto and his crew who did their best to save our lives".
Mr. Gideon Gordon Zim's lawyer told me that your father had cried saying that he could have saved us all, he wanted to save us all, but nature and circumstances had overcome him.
I also want to add something and say that in the Jewish tradition there is a saying that cites " Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.' (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:8 (37a)."
When I met your father he told me that his name was Ariel. I did some checking about the meaning of the name Ariel: in Hebrew, a lion is Ari while God is El, so Ariel is the lion of God. Ariel is also the angel who is in charge of new beginnings and healing people. In addition, Ariel is another name to the holy temple in Jerusalem. I am certain that no man but your father deserves his name. Thanks to him 8 people got to rebuild their lives, bring children to the world and be happy again despite the sorrow and bereavement. It was a privilege to meet such a righteous, great, nobleman. Kiss your mother for me.”