ITF: Australia Detains German Bulk Carrier

German bulk carrier Anna-ElizabethImage Courtesy: International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)

Bulk carrier Anna-Elisabeth, owned by German Johann MK Blumenthal, has been detained by Australian authorities, according to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

The crew aboard the Liberian-registered vessel, berthed at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal, submitted complaints of insufficient food, bullying and denial of shore leave to the ITF on March 25.

An ITF inspection on board the Flag of Convenience (FoC) vessel substantiated the crew’s concerns, finding inadequate stores on board and confirming that the crew had not had shore leave since January 23 in South Africa.

“Meat and fish were freezer burnt and fresh provisions were very low, certainly not enough to get 17 seafarers to Singapore. It is our suspicion that this company is under intense financial pressure and have sought to save money wherever they can. The master confirmed the food ration was AUD 7 per day for all meals,” Dean Summers, ITF national coordinator, said.

The ITF inspection also unveiled that the company had a new crew category of “Deck Rider” on their crew list which red-flagged the qualifications of all of the crew. The organization requested that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) inspect the vessel, citing shore leave, lack of provisions, bullying and concern about minimum safe manning and crew qualifications as key issues.

The ship was not permitted to sail in the afternoon hours of March 25. Government inspectors were dispatched to the ship on March 26 where a detailed inspection continued throughout the day. The vessel was subsequently official detained by AMSA under the Maritime Labour Convention.

The Liberian register is reportedly sending a representative to the ship to work with the master and owners to rectify the long list of deficiencies.

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