THE Nuestra Madre Loreto fishing boat reached Santa Pola to applause, confetti and official promises of compensation.
The Santa Pola boat was stranded for 10 days after plucking 12 immigrants from the sea while fishing off Libia.
Supplies were running out, the immigrants needed medical attention and no country was willing to accept them.
Skipper Pascual Dura Irles decided to take matters into his own hands and return to Spain, with or without permission.
Malta finally agreed to accept the immigrants but the Nuestra Madre Loreto continued fishing following a gesture that “made all Valencians proud,” said Generalitat president Ximo Puig.