The sixteen former crew members of the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier Liberty Prrudencia have been repatriated and their wages paid on Sunday, July 23, the Human Rights at Sea organization confirmed.
The ship was abandoned in February 2017, according to the data from the International Labour Organization, with 19 crew on board, all of the Indian nationality.
As informed at the time, the crew was unpaid since November 25, 2016, amid the shipowner’s financial difficulties, and was left with limited supplies of food and water.
Furthermore, the ship’s main engine was down and in need of repair. Earlier this year the ship had to be towed off a shipyard in China due to the malfunction of the main and auxiliary engines at sea in early December 2016.
The Indian embassy, the country’s government have been informed of the case by the ITF, the IMO and relevant charity organizations including HRAS, ISWAN, Arctic Offshore, who have been urging for the crew’s repatriation.
In the latest turn of events, the Master and 15 crew members received the wages until the end of May from a new buyer, according to the ITF.
“As per the Settlement Agreement, the company will pay the wages of 1 June to 20 June in cash when the crew sign-off. Now the crew is waiting for the repatriation arranged by the company,” a letter from ITF inspector from Hong Kong, Lam Wai Hong, Jason, reads.
The ship’s crew said in a letter to HRAS that the ship will now be sold by the owners to clear liabilities on the vessel, including crew wages and repatriation costs.
Based on the VesselsValue estimates, the Supramax bulker, built in 2003, is valued at USD 6.82 million.
The vessel is owned by Liberty Marine Syndicate from India.