German Bulk Carrier Detained Over Lack of Food and Bullying
The Liberian-registered bulk carrier Anna-Elisabeth has been detained by Australian authorities after the international crew on board complained of insufficient food, bullying aboard the vessel and denial of shore leave.
The complaints from crew were received by the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) while the vessel was berthed at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal on Monday.
ITF national coordinator Dean Summers substantiated the crew’s concerns, finding inadequate stores on board and 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... The master confirmed the food ration was $7 per day for all meals,” said Summers.
The ITF was also surprised to see that the company had a new crew category of "Deck Rider" on their crew list and 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.
The 2008-built 55,700dwt vessel was officially 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 deficiencies.
The German owners are Johann M. K. Blumenthal. “We are asking the Australian Government to send an urgent alert around the shipping world to audit and detain Blumenthal ships wherever breaches to human rights and workers’ rights are found,” says Summers. “In recent weeks, ITF inspectors in Europe have uncovered other cases of food shortages on Blumenthal vessels. So right now, Blumenthal is a priority for the ITF, and we will continue to inspect their vessels in ports around the world to ensure that more than 700 seafarers across their fleet aren’t subjected to these exploitative practices."