Last summer the almost 30-year old, Georgian-registered MV Aspet limped into the French port of St. Nazaire with flooding in her hold. The shipowner couldn’t be bothered to pay for repairs, which isn’t surprising because the crew hadn’t been paid for months. The ship remains in drydock in detention.
Norton Maritime Corporation owns Aspet, the ship manager is BAF Denizcilik Ve Ticaret Ltd, who share offices in Istanbul. No strangers to detention: In mid-2009 the vessel spent 115 days in detention at Hull following 57 deficiences, in the UK, just before being detained in St. Nazaire, four days in Rostov in 2008 for 13 deficiencies and, in 2007, 132 days detention for 23 deficiencies in Thessalonika.
It’s just as well the ship made it into St. Nazaire because had she been lost at sea it’s doubtful that her crew would have survived the lifeboats, as these photographs, courtesy of the Apostolship Of The Sea and sent to us by Yann Chauty of Ceps-Survie, the French non-profit maritime training association, who saw conditions on the vessel himself.
Says Yann: “I was very surprised by the portside lifeboat” as well he might have been.