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Abandonment ID: 00517
Ship name:Sterling
7-digit IMO no.:8413174
Port of abandonment:Fhor Fakkan, UAE (Red sea)
Abandonment date:25 January 2021
Notification date:5 February 2021
Reporting Member Govt. or Org.:ITF
No. of Seafarers:2
Nationalities:Indonesia(1); Sri Lanka(1)
Circumstances:P&I: Unknown

Offshore Tug/Supply

The flag of the vessel is not clear: St. Kitts & Nevis or Mongolia.

Indonesian cook on board reported to ITF that he was hit by a master in Dec 2020 and did not receive medical attention. November and December wages are unpaid, and he wants to be repatriated.
Received information from another crewmember that he has not received wages for 4 months.
Sri Lankan Ch Engineer who worked over 16 months on board reported this to his union and the ITF and he signed off in October but did not receive 4 months wages.
29th January: crew reports that Internet access on board has been cut. It is a supply tug which is not visiting ports frequently and we can neither send anyone on board nor report to PSCO.

Actions taken:Other
Spanish manning agency PALM CHARTERS S.A. contacted and requested to verify info, act and send documentation. Lack of collaboration.

Flag State informed
29/01/2021 - St. Kitts and Nevis
03/02/2021 - Mongolia
Repatriation status:Repatriation pending
1 seafarer wants to be repatriated.
Payment status:Payment Pending
Up to 4-month wages to one seafarer (US$18,200)
2-3 months to another seafarer (US$2,000/3,000). It is reported that the other crew members (and the safety guards) have also not received their wages.
Comments and Observations:ITF (5 February 2021)
Vessel name from Lloyds List Intelligence is listed as STERLING PALM but on Equasis it is STERLING.
The flag of the vessel is not clear. St Kitts & Nevis reported that the owner has not paid the fees in three years, but they have not cancelled registration. Equasis records the IMO number under St Kitts and Nevis but Lloyds List Intelligence states that the vessel has been Mongolia since April 2019.

Vessel sailing in Gulf area, ITF Arab World Coordinator informed, vessel will be visited when possible, when they it goes into port.

Govt. of United Arab Emirates (22 February 2021)
From Director of Maritime Transport Affairs, UAE
Please note the vessel is not Khor Fakhan port in UAE.
Marine traffic site indicating the latest AIS signal is captured in the month of February and the vessel was in the Red Sea.

Govt. of Saint Kitts and Nevis (22 February 2021)
From International Registrar of Shipping & Seamen & C.E.O
Please find attached our response to ITF advising them that the subject vessel is no longer considered a Saint Kitts and Nevis vessel following the de-facto closure of the registration, in accordance with the St Christopher and Nevis Merchant Shipping Act, Clause 8(1)(b) as a result of the failure to pay its mandated fees for a period of 2 years or more.
For the record, it is not considered a Saint Kitts and Nevis vessel since 20 August 2020. We are trying to reach the owner for the processing of the deletion certificates, but no return has been received.
I attach 2 images from publicly available platforms showing a report of Mongolia flag.

Govt. of Spain (23 February 2021)
From Embassy in London
We have just referred to our maritime administration the information concerning the new abandonment case STERLING. Our colleagues in Madrid will reach out the manning agency PALM CHARTERS. We will keep you informed on the progress of our enquiries.

International Maritime Organisation (23 February 2021)
We understand from both IMO GISIS and Equasis that not Mongolia but Saint Kitts and Nevis is the flag State since August 2014. However, they now argue that the ship is not a Saint Kitts and Nevis vessel since 20 August 2020 although they have not been able to process the deletion of certificates since they have received them back from the owner and reportedly Lloyd List is showing a report of Mongolia flag.

International Maritime Organisation (26 February 2021)
Apparently Saint Kitts and Nevis did not consider the STERLING a Saint Kitts and Nevis vessel since 20 August 2020. However, there was conflicting information since in the monthly feed that St Kitts & Nevis supplied for August 2020, there was no advise that the vessel was deleted /cancelled/considered not a St Kitts & Nevis flag. We now understand that Saint Kitts and Nevis considers the vessel as terminated from 20 August 2020 because the vessel breached the 2-year flag certificate for unpaid dues & taxes on that date.
Furthermore, information was also received from Mongolia that the ship was permanently registered in Mongolia and that the certificate expired on 23 February 2021. Please find herewith attached a copy of the permanent registration certificate from Mongolia. Mongolia advised that when the certificate expires the vessel is automatically cancelled from the register but can be renewed at owners request.
We would like to receive your further comments, also from the representatives of Mongolia that are herewith included, regarding this new entry as soon as possible, and in any case before COB on 5 March 2021 (10 working days).

Govt. of United Arab Emirates (28 February 2021)
From director of Maritime Transport Affairs
As we have mentioned in the previous attached email the vessel is not located in the United Arab Emirates, the last position of “Sterling” in the month of February indicating she in the Red Sea, therefore mentioning the vessel is abandoned in KFK port in the UAE is misleading and inaccurate information.

Last updated: Friday - 5 March 2021 at 17:06:04^ top

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