SOS from the Persian Gulf

Seven crew members of the tanker Crystal Nord (Russia-flagged, IMO 9016911) approached the Seafarers' Union of Russia Far Eastern Territorial Organization (SUR FETO) with a request for help. The Nakhodka-Portbunker Company left the sailors not only with the outstanding amount of 1.6 million rubles, but also without fuel, although the application was filed by a Chief Engineer on 10 August. As a result, the ship was de-energized which immediately led to spoiled products in the artel and the temperature in the cabins rising up to 45° C. Indeed, Crystal Nord is in the port of Hamriyah (UAE).

The request signed by seven crew members was sent on August 30. Immediately after receiving the letter from the seafarers, SUR representatives contacted the shipowner and found out that the company was in the process of bankruptcy and an arbitration manager was appointed. Just a few hours after communication with the representative of the shipowner, fuel and products were delivered aboard Crystal Nord.

“We managed to sort out the problem of supply of the sailors rather quickly,” says Nikolai Sukhanov, Chairman of the SUR FETO. “However, as for the outstanding wages, it is not quite that simple. The arbitration manager said that the money would be paid immediately after the sale of the company's property. It is clear that this is a slow process and, until then, we asked the company to constantly provide the vessel with fuel and products. Permanent mobile communication with the crew is ongoing”.

As soon as food and fuel were delivered to the ship, the seafarers contacted the Union and thanked the SUR for such a quick response and the measures taken, as a result of which the crew was provided with everything necessary for two weeks. While communicating with the crew and representatives of the company, it appeared that not only fuel was absent on board.

“Outstanding wages to several seafarers exceeded two months, so we decided to check the availability of insurance certificates, which should be posted on board in a prominent place,” says Nikolai Sukhanov. “We asked the administration of the vessel to provide us with the copies of insurance in accordance with the requirements of the MLC, and it turned out that they are missing. Certainly, we have made the company's management aware that since 18 January, this year, all vessels must have insurance certificates and asked why they had not got these documents on board their vessel. So far, we have not received an answer. In any case, we remain closely linked to the seafarers and are keeping the situation under control”.

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