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Abandonment ID: 00454
Ship name:Onda[disputed]
7-digit IMO no.:8912467
Port of abandonment:Douala, Cameroon
Abandonment date:1 March 2020
Notification date:12 October 2020
Reporting Member Govt. or Org.:ITF
No. of Seafarers:4
Nationalities:Cameroon(3); Sao Tome and Principe(1)
Circumstances:P&I: None

Vessel has been laid up since late January 2020 outside Douala, Cameroon.
7 crew on board, 4 of whom (2nd Engineer, Cook and 2 x AB) want their owed wages and to be repatriated. They have been on board ranging from 7-13 months and have owed wages ranging between 7-9 months. They complain that the owner is not providing consistent and regular provisions (they are collecting rainwater to drink and cooking on a wood fire on deck) and at the time of submitting this report, the last fuel they received was 12th July 2020. The vessel has no Classification Society listed or Financal Security provider
Actions taken:24 September 2020: Flag State informed
Repatriation status:Repatriation pending
Payment status:Payment Pending
7-9 months US$11,500

Partially paid
1 of the affected crew received all his outstanding wages.

Comments and Observations:ITF (12 October 2020)
Owner replied to Togo flag state that there is no crew on board only 4 persons who are watchmen and all are Cameroon local persons. The vessel is laid up and that on 02/10/2020 he will be in Doulala to prepare the vessel to sail.
Owner claims that the seafarers on board have no competence certificates or seamens books to sail the vessel, despite the fact that 3 of the crew sailed the vessel from Nigeria in December 2019. The crew have provided copies of their certificates and seamens books. Flag state have written to say that the owners will re-class the vessel and appoint financial security providers in due course, and that the owner will be in Douala on 2nd October to pay outstanding salaries, but they are not pushing the owner to resolve the lack of provisions, water and fuel. The owners representative met with local ITF affiliate representatives and the local Pastor and disputes the amount of owed wages. He has taken copies of relevant documentation and will return with his own calculation

Govt. of Togo (3 December 2020)
Regarding the vessel M/V Onda, the Embassy would like to inform that according to a statement signed by the captain on behalf of the crew dated 4th November 2020, this vessel is at anchor at the port of Douala in Cameroon with 7 sailors on board since January 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to this declaration, during this period, the company SCTMT SARL, has reportedly been operating the ship, and the sailors would be well treated, they would be regularly given fuel, food, drinking waster and would receive advances on wages every month. However, this version of the captain remains to be verified.

ITF (9 December 2020)
The supply of provisions from the owner is still very intermittent and the ITF has supplied the vessel twice. Negotiations with the owner are still ongoing.

ITF (21 January 2021)
Partial cash payments have been made to 4 crewmembers. The 4 crewmembers remain on board awaiting the balance of wages. Vessel has been listed for sale.

ITF (28 January 2021)
4 crew were paid $1600 cash between them in January. More than $5000 is still outstanding.

ITF (4 February 2021)
To Togolese flag state,
It seems that the nightmare for the crew on board the M/V ONDA is finally drawing to a close, not because the owner has stood up to his obligations and responsibilities, but because the crew are broken.
These innocent seafarers have suffered physical stress, mental torture, financial destitution, racist remarks, threats and been forced to live in the most inhumane conditions on board, while the owner made excuse after excuse after excuse. And so for the sake of their sanity and to be able to provide for their loved ones, they are leaving the vessel, although in a final act of desperation two of the crew have involved the police to try and recover their outstanding wages.
The owner has made some additional payments on 3rd February 2021 but it was not the full balance outstanding.
As we previously informed you, the ITF supported a group of Indian seafarers on board this vessel with the same owner in 2018 with exactly the same circumstances, and we can only assume given the complete lack of tangible action by the Togolese flag on both cases that you are happy to open your register to owners like this and to vessels which are uninsured, without classification and substandard.
We will continue to monitor the ONDA to try and ensure that the replacement crew do not suffer the same fate as the two previous crews

ITF (5 February 2021)
All 4 affected seafarers have now left the vessel. The seafarer from Sao Tome has joined another vessel having received only half of his owed wages, the amount of which we cannot confirm. The other three seafarers left with only partial amounts of their total owed wages paid. The amounts paid in total for each of these 3 seafarers for one year were $630 (Cook), $800 (A/B) and $3,050 (Oiler).

ITF (1 March 2021)
The 4 crew have now left the vessel. 1 of the affected crew received all his outstanding wages. The other 3 crew members signed a receipt in English stating that they had received their full salary, even though they do not read or write English. The receipts have had written notes on them that state the crew have received a small cash payment and the remaining balance of their wages will be paid in two months. The outstanding wage amount is almost $4,000.

Entered: Friday - 5 February 2021 at 12:36:23
Last updated: Monday - 1 March 2021 at 10:55:45
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