Crew Rescued After Nine Months of Abandonment
The crew of a Taiwanese cargo vessel seized in Mombasa, Kenya, have come ashore after nine months.
In that time, the 15 Filipino crewmen have worked long hours to repair the ship which had no generator, air conditioning fuel or clean water after the vessel was detained on December 9, 2016.
“The toilets were blocked, and the crew was not allowed to step outside because their papers had not been processed. It was like they were imprisoned there,” Betty Makena, an inspector with International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), told The Star (Kenya).
According to Makena, the vessel's captain and chief engineer lived in a hotel in Mombasa at the time, visiting the ship once a day.
The 15 crewmen were due to be paid $350 a month but have so far not received any money.
The Star reports that the shipowners have now bowed to pressure and booked flights for the men. They are due to fly out Monday, however Makena is concerned that the company may not pay them before they leave. Once dispersed, they run the risk of not getting paid.
Mombassa's Mission to Seamen chaplain Reverend Moses Muli is supporting the crew with food and water.
Meanwhile, Makena is also helping nine Kenyan seafarers who have been stranded in Malaysia for a year with no money. They were stranded after the Zanzibar-flagged vessel they were in developed mechanical trouble and was declared unfit for sailing by the Malaysian maritime authorities.