Today, the President of Albania, Bujar Nishani, conferred a medal for "Special civil merit" on Giovanni Cosini, Captain of the Costa Voyager, one of the cruise ships of the Costa Cruises’ fleet, for rescuing two young Albanian fishermen who had been drifting off the coast of Durres for two days.

The medal, the highest civil decoration in Albania, was presented at the Presidential Palace of Tirana during a ceremony which was also attended by the Italian Ambassador to Albania, Massimo Gaiani.

The two young fishermen were rescued on 30 March 2013. At 7 a.m., while the Costa Voyager was heading to Durres for its first call in the Albanian city, the crew on the ship’s bridge spotted the small fishing boat that had lost power and was drifting about 15 miles off the Albanian coast.

The two young men on the boat, reportedly in very poor condition, were rescued and  assisted by the Costa Voyager crew. The ship’s captain notified the Albanian Coast Guard which confirmed that the two, at sea for fishing, were missing and searched for by two days. After the rescue, the Costa Voyager called in the port of Durres, where the fishermen disembarked and were reunited with their families.

The Costa Voyager had been on a 10-day cruise, dedicated exclusively to the French market, having departed from Marseilles on 27 March with calls to Corigliano Calabro, Durres, Korcula (Croatia), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Zara (Croatia) and Messina.