An International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) inspector has issued a last ditch call to a shipowner and its flag state to act to stop the suffering of a 17 seafarers abandoned in Algeria.
ITF inspector Mohamed Arrachedi says the crew of the Panama-flagged, Turkish-owned Seahonest has been stranded, unpaid and unprovisioned, in the Port of Algiers for seven months.
“The crew are on the brink,” says Arrachedi. “I believe there’s a real risk of suicide – that’s how desperate they are. The company has washed its hands of them, yet continues to operate other vessels. It’s a human disgrace, I believe they are happy to see the men reach breaking point in the hope that they will leave without a cent of what they’re owed.
“Either the company or the flag state has to act. The only reason the crew hasn’t starved is because of the food and humanitarian assistance provided by the ITF, Algerian trade unions, the port authority of Algiers Port and the embassies of India and Turkey.”
On Saturday one of the crew members sent the following SMS to Arrachedi: “Is there any news or updates for us? Everybody are very tense, mentally tired and desperate to go home and anxious to know when and how our problem will be solved.”
The crew includes two Turkish and 15 Indian nationals.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.