Crew member on the Ekatontarchos Dracoulis (Greece)
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News of the rescue published in Portuguese newspaper Diário de Lisboa
Bernardino Costa was a crew member of the Greek ship Ekatontarchos Dracoulis when it was torpedoed by U-44 west of the Portuguese coast at 4.15 am on January 20, 1940.
The Portuguese survived the attack and was able to reach a lifeboat with eleven other crew members, including the captain. They were picked up the next day by the Italian steamer Nino Padri and left in Gibraltar.
The Greek consul in Lisbon was informed of the sinking through a radio transmission carried out by the Italian vessel. The same communication called their attention to the existence of another lifeboat with survivors still missing.
The Portuguese authorities ordered the destroyer Vouga to set sail in a search and rescue operation, but before they left information was received that the remaining ten castaways had been found by the Spanish trawler Anton Fontana, which anchored off Peniche, on the afternoon of 22 January, waiting for conditions to enter the port, which happened the next day.
In Peniche, they were received by the local fishermen and population, but also Consul General of Greece, Emmanuel Papamichaeli; the maritime attaché of the Greek Legation in Lisbon, Captain Teodoro Lonicios, and Basilio Daskalakis, a police commander also in the country. There they were dressed and fed before being taken by bus to Lisbon where all were admitted into Hospital de São José for treatment of injuries and exhaustion.