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Abandonment ID: 00510
Ship name:Melimass[resolved]
Flag:Cook Islands
7-digit IMO no.:9135482
Port of abandonment:Suez, Egypt
Abandonment date:15 December 2020
Notification date:18 January 2021
Reporting Member Govt. or Org.:ITF
No. of Seafarers:22
Nationalities:India(8); Syrian Arab Republic(14)
Circumstances:P&I: MS Amlin Marine NV

Bulk Carrier
Crew are requesting to go home and to be paid.
Actions taken:15 November 2020: Flag State informed

Negotiations with owner, flag state and P&I club.
Repatriation status:Repatriation pending
22 crew members are awaiting repatriation.

Payment status:Payment Pending
Crew members are unpaid for 11 months. (US$ 244,460)

Comments and Observations:Other (11 February 2021)
From Head of Technical Department, Cook Islands
On 15/12/2020 Maritime Cook Islands (MCI) was copied in an email from the ITF Arab World coordinator addressed to the vessel's MLC shipowner (owners from now on) with reference to the crew unpaid wages, expired contracts and the request of three crew members to be repatriated. MCI acknowledged the communication from ITF and got in touch with the owners to ascertain the situation onboard.
On 18/12/2020 owners responded to the request of information prompted by further requests from ITF (17/12) and MCI (18/12). The owners explained that due to the Government Capital Control in Lebanon, it was difficult to access funds to pay the due wages. The owners asked for 20-25 days to settle wages and disembark crew.
Between 20/12 and 22/12 owners have corresponded with ITF proposing to solve the pending wages and repatriation issues in 15-20 days. The proposal was accepted by ITF.
On 14/01/21 MCI received an MLC complaint from the vessel crewmembers. The complaint was signed by 13 crew members, all Syrian nationals.
On 15/01/21 MCI reminded owners their promise to fulfil their obligations by 11/01 as per their agreement with ITF. Owners responded that issues with accessing funds were not yet resolved and that they were working on it.
On 18/01/21 MCI requested owners to receive evidence of payment and repatriation within 05/02/21, and in case this would not happen the vessel was to be de-registered by 12/02 (given resolution of all crew related issues was in place). On the same date, MCI notified the vessel's P&I to take necessary actions in relation to the insurer's obligations in case of abandonment.
On 18/01/21 MCI received acknowledgement of its communications from both owners and P&I.
On 20/01/21 MCI placed the vessel in hot lay up status to facilitate the crew to be disembarked and repatriated
On 25/01/21 MCI received information from the P&I that they got in touch with owners and that they were informed that owners would have been able to shortly access funds to pay outstanding wages. MCI acknowledge receipt and allowed 10 days for the payments to happen.
On 01/02/21 ITF followed up with owners about crew wages payments
On 01/02/21 Owners informed ITF that they were in the process to receive authorisation to board the vessel and pay the outstanding wages. Crew was informed accordingly.
On 04/02/21 Owners sent through evidence of payment of 10 crew members, stating that the remaining crew would be pay the following day. They also provided evidence of payment of the total sum of USD 53.498,00.
On 04/02/21 ITF acknowledged receipt of the proof of payment and enquired on some discrepancies between the due amount and what was actually paid as well as information about the payment for the remaining 8 crew members.
On 04/02/21 Owners acknowledge receipt, responding they were in the process to withdraw the remaining funds and to pay the remaining overdue wages.
On 04/02/21 Vessel's P&I sent to MCI the evidence of payment of 12 crew members, provided by the owners. The P&I informed MCI that owners also promised to settle the remaining fee as soon as possible.
On 08/02/21 Vessel's P&I sent to MCI the evidence of payment of the remaining overdue wages and informed MCI that the owners were working towards arranging repatriation for seafarers.
On 08/02/21 MCI sent ITF all the evidence and information received.
On 09/02/21 ITF informed owners and MCI that they are double checking the payments against the outstanding wages and enquired about repatriation plans and time frame.
MCI is in direct contact with owners and ITF and will keep working for the final resolution of this abandonment case. Once we receive confirmation of complete payment of outstanding wages as well as repatriation of crew we will inform IMO accordingly.

ITF (5 March 2021)
Some of the crew were paid in full and repatriated last month in February 2021.
Remaining crew on board are still unpaid and seeking repatriation.

ITF (7 September 2021)
The case is now RESOLVED
All crew have been paid and repatriated gradually except 2 seafarers who according to our information remained on board and reached their own settlements direclty with the owners. The vessel has changed name to Marco H and reflagged to Pala

Entered: Tuesday - 7 September 2021 at 14:41:40
Last updated: Wednesday - 15 September 2021 at 09:14:13
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