Dead Ship – Crew Feel Like Prisoners
The Panos Earth, 75,864 dwt bulk carrier needs $500 000 (R3.6 million) to repair her generators but squabbles with insurers mean the ship is heading for her eighth week anchored in False Bay, with a disgruntled crew who want to go home, reports the 'Cape Times' newspaper.
In the tangle of broken generators, the shipowner’s cash-flow problems, no funds from the insurance company and various creditors arresting the vessel, the South American crew say they’ve had enough and want to go home.
They have called on the local representatives of the International Transport Workers Federation for help.
Cassiem Augustus, one of the federation’s inspectors, went on board with Alan Goldberg, lawyer for the organisation and spoke through a translator to the 15 Chilean, two Panamanian and one Peruvian crew members. “They were angry and feeling lost because they can’t come ashore and say they feel they’re being imprisoned at sea. They said they hadn’t brought this on themselves and worked in terms of their contract until the ship broke down. They say they have not been getting all their money and want to go home,” Augustus said.
It appears the problem with the ship is faulty generators, which failed after they became clogged from dirty fuel taken in South America.
The ship's engineers fixed that problem and they had almost got the vessel going again when 'something mechanical' went wrong. It will take $500 000 (R3.6 million) to carry out repairs, but the Chilean owner does not have the cash to do so.