An eight-month ordeal for the crew of the vessel Newlead Granadino was brought to an end on May 31 when the final six Filipino seafarers were repatriated.
The tanker experienced major engine problems in September 2016 and was detained by the US Coast Guard for repairs, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) informed.
ITF added that the tanker was stranded in Baltimore Harbour in the United States after the owner Newlead Holdings was not able to pay for the repairs. Subsequently, Nataxis, the bank that owned the mortgage, took the ship over and put it up for sale.
The crew was running out of food and water, and was unable to go on shore because they lacked proper documentation. The seafarers received help from the Baltimore International Seafarers’ Center and the local community.
ITF informed that InterOrient, the manning agent for the crew, paid for provisions before Raven Ship Management (RSM) was hired by the bank. RSM provided provisions, began paying the men regularly, and repatriated 12 of the 18 seafarers, six in November 2016 and six the following January.
The vessel was finally sold to Eurotankers Inc on May 31. Once repaired, it will sail as the Asphalt Trader with a new crew.