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Maritime News for Filipino Seafarers

Cargo ship detained at Sharpness Docks for two months over unpaid wages and lack of drinking water concerns

Cargo ship detained at Sharpness Docks for two months over unpaid wages and lack of drinking water concerns
9th August 2017

UNPAID wages, concerns over a lack of drinking water and conditions described as “close to modern day slavery” has led to a cargo ship being detained at Sharpness Docks.

Complaints that the crew of five Turks, two Indians and two Georgians has not been paid for three months, with the Indians not being paid since joining in September and October, were raised.

Following an inspection of the Panamanian-flagged vessel by Cardiff-based Maritime and Coastguard Agency officials, 12 ‘deficiencies’ were identified – including wages – resulting in it being detained on June 2.

Owned by Turkish shipping firm Voda Denizcilik, Tahsinis still being held at Sharpness Docks for over two months and will not be released until inspectors are happy that all regulations are met.

Its crew is being supported by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), and a spokesman described conditions aboard the vessel as “a culture close to modern day slavery”.

ITF inspector Darren Proctor said: “The vessel entered Sharpness on May 31 and was detained by the MCA after a complaint was received regarding outstanding wages and drinking water.

“None of them [the crew] had been paid for three months, but the Indian crew had not been paid since joining in September and October 2016, and had to pay to even get the jobs.

“Following ITF intervention seven of the nine crew (the master still remains onboard and the cook only recently joined) were repatriated and paid in full.

“There were many findings onboard, including evidence of the crew drinking seawater as there was no potable water on the ship for over ten days, out of date food, non-operational galley equipment and a genuine concern over the labour practices.

“The master thought it was acceptable to pay the crew every three months and not keep wage accounts.

“The vessel has since been revisited by the MCA and issued with a further list of deficiencies.”

An MCA spokesman confirmed that they had detained the Tahsin on June 2 after inspectors found 12 ‘deficiencies’ including a number of missing charts and documents and wages not meeting the Seafarers’ Employment Agreement. Eight of these were deemed to be grounds for detention.

No date has been set for the Tahsin’s release.

Voda Denizcilik did not respond to the Gazette’s request for a comment