The fifteen abandoned Filipino sailors, members of the MV B Ladybug’s crew, have been repatriated and returned to the Philippines after spending almost a year stranded in the Maltese waters.
MV B Ladybug, a Ro-Ro ship sailing under the Panamanian flag, has been left to its own devices for eight months after the ship’s owner went bankrupt. What is more, the crew was left without supplies, including food and water, as the Ladybug Corporation stopped providing supplies.
According to the Italy-based Philippine Embassy, cited by the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the end to the Filipino sailors’ ordeal came on April 17th when they left the ship on the grounds of a decision reached by a Maltese court, approving the sale of the vessel to new owners.
For eight months, the Philippine Embassy in Rome actively led coordination efforts to assist the Filipinos on board MV B Lady Bug with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment in Manila, and representatives of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, and the government authorities in Malta.
The decision of the Maltese court also ordered owners of Labybug Corporation to pay the sailors over €200,000 in salaries and to cover their repatriation costs.
A new crew for the ship has been hired.
World Maritime News Staff