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Most Sky (Pan) Crew Claim Settled

Most Sky (Pan) Crew Claim Settled

The Turkish, Azerbaijani and Georgian crew of the substandard Panamanian registered vessel MOST SKY, still under detention in Birkenhead, have finally received their owed wages and flight tickets home.

“Trying to convince the owners that they had to fulfil a number of outstanding obligations before the arrest of the vessel could be lifted was not an easy process,” said Nautilus/ITF Inspector Tommy Molloy. “But the message finally got through and the money and tickets eventually turned up. The situation for the eight crew members the ITF were assisting has now been resolved.”

The ship has been detained since failing a port state control inspection on 8th November. The Maritime & Coastguard Agency surveyor had publicly described the engine room as the worst he had seen.

“There doesn’t seem to have been a lot of remedial activity going on since it was detained,” said Molloy from on board the vessel having witnessed outstanding wages being paid. “The toilet and shower facilities remain the same and we are not aware of much work being carried out in the engine room. It was reported at one stage that portable heaters had been brought on board for the crew, but it turned out that these were only for the Captain, the Chief Engineer and another man on board who is described as the owner’s father. The crew went without and were still using rigged up lighting and old kebab makers for heat until we threatened to take them off the vessel to a hotel at the owner’s expense. More heaters then materialised.”

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“Companies and individuals have contacted ITF in order to make donations of food and other essentials for the crew and the generosity of ordinary people in this neck of the woods towards visiting seafarers who find themselves in difficulties through no fault of their own never ceases to amaze. I think it harks back to the days when almost every family around here had at least one seafarer. But once we had secured the arrest for the crew last week the Admiralty Marshall took on the responsibility of maintaining fresh food and provisions for the crew.”

It is still not known when the vessel will leave the port as the detention will not be lifted until the deficiencies discovered have been rectified. It is also believed that a second arrest in relation to damaged cargo also has to be settled. A new crew is set to join the vessel and Molloy does not think they will be impressed with what they find.

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“It is hard enough being a seafarer at the best of times. You know you’re going to be away from your family for long periods of time, the hours are long and hard and the seas can be rough. But when your living conditions are akin to a squat and you don’t receive any wages into the bargain, you’re going to wonder what you’ve been tricked into. Given this company’s record over a long period of time, I don’t think it will be long before this crew start to call for help.”

By Tommy Molloy


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