South Korean Coast Guard Intercepts Fleeing Tanker
On Tuesday, the Korea Coast Guard intercepted and arrested the product tanker Palladiy after it tried to leave Busan's anchorage without clearance.
Korean authorities detained the Palladiy in June after five crewmembers alleged that the shipowner, Vladivostok-based Far Trans, had not paid their wages or provided them with transportation home. In addition to complaints to Russian and Korean authorities, the seafarers contacted the Far Eastern Regional Organiztaion of the Russian Sailors Union and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) for assistance.
Far Trans has informed Russian consular authorities that it does not have funds to pay or repatriate the seafarers. Two of the crew have indicated that they may return to Russia at their own expense, and the consulate is working with them to facilitate this option.
The Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Busan, Roman Bykov, told Russian state media that the Palladiy had attempted to flee the port. "This morning, the Consulate General received a notification from the Busan branch of the Coast Guard of the Republic of Korea that the vessel was detained. At 0100, the ship, without having [proper] documents, secretly made an attempt to leave the port.The Coast Guard asked them to stop, the ship continued to move towards Japan, the Koreans were forced to make warning shots, [and] a helicopter was called up," the consul said. South Korean forces boarded the vessel, the consul reported, and they forced it to return to port.
The 1984-built Palladiy is a 5,000 dwt product tanker. Her classification was suspended in May due to an overdue survey.