The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) arrested the ship Malaviya Seven on Wednesday, March 29 on behalf of its crew.
The ship has been abandoned in Aberdeen, Scotland by its owners, and detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency at the federation’s request.
The detention took place in October 2016 over wages owed to the replacement crew of the vessel.
In June last year a routine inspection revealed that 15 of the crew members, who are of Indian nationality, had gone unpaid for four months.
“We’ve been helping these men since the beginning, particularly with their basic needs such as food and water, while working to recover the money that is due to them,” ITF inspector Liam Wilson said.
“We have reached a point where the only way that these men are going to get home with the money they are due is to help them arrest the ship, and we have now taken that move. We anticipate that within the next, say, 12 to 16 weeks, the ship will be sold and what is owed to them recovered from the sale price. This would replicate the experience of the Seven’s sister ship, the Malaviya Twenty, which was detained in Great Yarmouth, and where we were pleased to be able to help the crew home, with their pay, last month.”
“To say that workers are owed USD 666,938 is in itself a scandal. The owners and the Indian flag state should hang their head in shame. Equally all those that could have brought the situation to an end months ago should reflect on their inactivity,” ITF UK and Ireland coordinator Ken Fleming commented.
According to Fleming, should the company or the bank not come in on record by early next week the ITF will apply to the courts to dispose of the vessel by way of a sale to recover the crew wages.
The Indian-flagged platform supply vessel, built in 1994, is owned by India’s Gol Offshore. According to VesselsValue data, it is valued at USD 1.74 million.