ITF: Polar Star’s Five Crew Repatriated

Image Courtesy: ITF Seafarers

Five crew members of the ice breaker Polar Star have arrived home after being abandoned in the Canary Islands, according to ITF Seafarers.

The Russian and Lithuanian seafarers were part of a crew which joined the ship during May and June in Las Palmas, Spain. They had been employed to start repair works and then after three weeks sail the vessel to Klaipeda, Lithuania, to complete the operations.

Instead, they were caught in a conflict between the Astican shipyard and the Chinati Management Corporation, a London-based investment group which is buying the ship from its Canadian owner, 3264741 Nova Scotia Limited.

Repairs stopped because necessary parts failed to materialise, the crew’s access to food and other supplies was restricted, they were unable to leave the ship and access to the vessel was limited. The men turned for help to the ITF inspector in Las Palmas, Gonzalo Galan, who negotiated food supplies and access to the vessel.

Despite several assurances that the men would receive their July wages given by Chinati Management Corporation, nothing materialised and some crew members decided to give up and pay for themselves to go home. Five were determined to remain on board while the ITF negotiated with the owner on their behalf. On August 24, the owner agreed to repatriate them and on August 29 the seafarers finally flew home.

“The Cornwallis Financial Corporation, which represents 3264741 Nova Scotia Limited, have promised our inspector in Halifax, Canada that they will not complete the sale of the vessel until the crew is fully paid. We will keep working on that,” Galan said.

The Polar Star was used for Polar expeditions and was abandoned at the Astican Shipyard in Las Palmas with unpaid repair bills reaching USD 1.6 million in 2011.

Seafarers across the globe face various challenges when they venture out to sea. There are many reports about crews being abandoned and repatriated months, or even years later, with the help of charity organizations or International Transport Federation (ITF), almost on a daily basis.

Data from the International Labor Convention (ILO) shows there are over 80 crew abandonment cases, with over 50 being disputed, some dating back to even 2004. In addition, around 140 cases have been deemed as “resolved”.

Share this article

Follow World Maritime News

In Depth>

Events>

<< Feb 2018 >>
MTWTFSS
29 30 31 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 1 2 3 4

Shipping 360

This course is ideal for those who have recently joined the maritime sector and those who need to have a better understanding…

read more >

APM – ASIA PACIFIC MARITIME 2018

27 years in the making, APM is the premier shipbuilding & marine, workboat and offshore exhibition in Asia trusted by generations of industry professionals.

read more >

Shippax Ferry Conference 2018

The two-day onboard ferry conference was first organized in 2003 and grows ever more popular with some 400 delegates from over 40 ferry…

read more >

8th Dredging & Land Reclamation World Summit 2018

The 8th Dredging and Land Reclamation Summit 2018 will gather the decision makers from Authorities and Operators responsible for ports…

read more >