Ship: Stureborg (Sweden)
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Alfredo da Silva Martins was on board the Swedish neutral freighter Stureborg, traveling under the flag of the International Red Cross, when - on June 14, 1942 off the island of Cyprus - the ship was attacked and sunk by Italian aircraft.
The Portuguese managed to get on a raft with nine other survivors, including another Portuguese named António Amaral. In the small boat they only had a few cans of food and little water.
Nineteen days later the raft ran aground on a beach in Palestine, but Alfredo Martins had died along the way. The only survivor was António Amaral.
Another eleven men had died during the sinking, among them Franscisco Teodoro, another Portuguese.
Alfredo da Silva Martins was well known in the sports circles of Lourenço Marques, Mozambique. Affiliated in the local Sporting Club, he was a 1500 meters running champion, besides being a talented soccer and water polo player.
The Stureborg was one of several neutral ships in service of the International Red Cross. It was engaged in the transport of supplies, mail and parcels for prisoners, and other humanitarian operations. In this case, the ship was coming from the port of Piraeus, in Greece, where it had unloaded foodstuffs to help the population.
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