ITF inspector for UK maritime union Nautilus Tommy Molloy is pressing the authorities for action to ensure appropriate care and protection for the mixed nationality seafarers onboard the Panama-registered Most Sky. He claims they have effectively been abandoned by the ship’s Turkish owners.
Molloy intervened last November to recover owed wages and secure repatriation for eight crew members on the ship, following its detention by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in the port of Birkenhead in the north west of England.
The 1,972gt vessel was detained as a result of a number of problems such as: the failure to maintain adequately the ship and equipment; unsigned records of rest; no heating; dirty crew showers and toilets and out of date lifejacket lights.
Molloy said that crewmembers had lodged a long list of complaints, including the fact that they had not been paid. Two of the crewmembers had to be treated in hospital; another had pointed out moisture running down the bulkhead to his bunk. “His bed and bedding were sodden,” he said.
“The plight of the crew raises broad questions about who is actually responsible for the wellbeing of the crew when a vessel is detained due to the glaring lack of responsibility shown by the owner,’ Molloy pointed out. “The onus seems to fall on agencies here in the UK when a ship arrives in one of our ports in such an appalling condition, whereas I believe the flag state should be taking more responsibility.”
Claims have been lodged with the admiralty marshal on behalf of three crew members. The vessel has also been arrested due to an unpaid claim for cargo damage.