Three crew members have died in a tanker sinking in the Caribbean, prompting calls from colleagues for compensation to be paid.

The 2,400-dwt product carrier Cetus (built 1982) capsized in bad weather 130 nautical miles northwest of the island of Aruba, the Caribbean Coast Guard said.

Two passing cargo ships saved 14 seafarers and their dog but two others were not found.

The Cronica website reported that master Jose Delgado then died of a heart attack following the rescue.

The Comoros-flag tanker is operated by Intercaribbean Tanker of the Dominican Republic, which has been contacted for comment.

One of the ship’s officers, Luis Villafane, told Cronica that the company should compensate the captain’s relatives.

They expressed outrage after being assured a payment would be made within six months.

Villafane said that Delgado had told him to tell his family that he did not have the strength to survive the situation and that he loved them.

The officer called for support from the Merchant Marine Guild and other government agencies to ensure compensation is paid.

“He was a humanitarian, altruistic man, companion and friend who left a legacy. He deserves that we help his family get ahead,” added Villafane.

Cetus was heading back to the Dominican Republic.

Plane dropped life rafts

The crew was made up of Venezuelans, Dominicans and a Cuban.

Distress calls had been received by the Coast Guard, with the crew indicating they were abandoning the elderly tanker after it took on water.

A Coast Guard plane quickly spotted men in the water and dropped two inflatable life rafts.

The US Coast Guard also sent a helicopter to assist in the operation.

A general cargo ship and a bulker located the two rafts and took the men on to Venezuela and Trinidad.

The vessel has had no port state control detentions on its record since 2012.