The crew of a Filipino flagged cargo ship, identified as the Foxhound, who had to abandon their sinking vessel off the PNG coast more than a week ago are now stuck on the deck of a container ship in Sydney, the International Transport Workers’ Federation said.
The crew were rescued from a life boat by the Chinese container ship COSCO Shanghai, which arrived in Sydney today.
As informed by the ITF, the crew was not able to contact their loved ones and was even missing proper clothes, which they received today from the Seafarers Missions so they can fly home tomorrow morning.
ITF National Coordinator Dean Summers says that the 21 men should have been given immediate help before arriving in Sydney.
“They are survivors of a maritime tragedy who should have been landed as soon as possible to get immediate physical and mental health support,” Summers said.
“Instead they have waited 8 days on board their rescue ship as it headed to Sydney.”
“They should be provided hotel accommodation, not left on the deck of a container ship waiting to be flown home.”
“They should have been given phones to contact their families and loved ones, clothes, accommodation and community support in Sydney,” he added.
The ship started sinking following water ingress while underway last week in the Bismark Sea some 15 nautical miles northeast off Lae Province, Papua New Guinea. The crew sent a distress signal to the local authorities, before they abandoned ship and jumped into a life raft.