The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier Five Stars Fujian from Australian ports for 12 months after the vessel was released from detention in the afternoon of September 1.
Five Stars Fujian was released after AMSA received confirmation that outstanding crew wages have been paid. The vessel was also resupplied with fuel and sufficient provisions were on board for the vessel’s safe passage.
An AMSA inspector attended the vessel to conduct a final inspection and confirm with the crew readiness to sail prior to its release.
Once the detention was lifted, AMSA issued the master with a direction notice banning the operators from bringing the vessel to any Australian port for 12 months.
AMSA General Manager of Ship Safety Allan Schwartz said that the conduct of the Five Stars Fujian Shipping Co was “unacceptable” as the crew “have been forsaken off the Australian coast for over two months, with limited supplies and thousands of dollars of unpaid wages.”
“This is a completely unacceptable way for a company to treat their crew and this kind of conduct will not be tolerated in Australia,” Schwartz added.
Five Stars Fujian has been detained off Gladstone since August 12 after AMSA surveyors found that the 2009-built vessel did not have sufficient provisions for its intended voyage and the crew had not been paid in several months.
The vessel has been previously at anchor off Gladstone since July when it was arrested by the Federal Court over a commercial matter.