|Abandonment ID:|| 00671|
|Ship name:||Gulf Queen[resolved]|
|7-digit IMO no.:||9088653|
|Port of abandonment:||Durban, South Africa|
|Abandonment date:||1 March 2022|
|Notification date:||4 July 2022|
|Reporting Member Govt. or Org.:||ITF|
|No. of Seafarers:||21|
|Nationalities:||India(6); Iran, Islamic Republic of(4); Kenya(1); Syrian Arab Republic(5); Tanzania, United Republic of(5)|
|Circumstances:||6 Indian crew have not been paid for 6 months (since they joined). |
3 of them have expired contracts and the other 3 will expire soon.
|Actions taken:||3 July 2022: Flag State informed|
Contacted the owners (no response), flag state, P&I club and Durban port authority. Have also advised the Maritime Affairs department in the UAE as the company is based in the UAE.
|Repatriation status:||Repatriation pending|
Crew are awaiting repatriation.
|Payment status:||Payment Pending|
The total wages outstanding is US$18,000.
|Comments and Observations:||Govt. of South Africa (13 July 2022)|
On the evening of 01 July 2022 the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) was informed by the Indian consulate in Durban of the 6 (six) Indian seafarers who had complained about nonpayment of salaries and not having proper food on board.
Initial visit 02 July 20222
• A Port State Control Officer (PSCO) attended to the vessel on the morning of 02 July 2022 to verify the complaint. The complaint was verified and upon conducting an initial Port State Control Inspection on the vessel. The PSCO recommended that a full Port State Inspection be conducted.
• At the recommendation of the PSCO our OHS & Maritime Welfare Unit accompanied by the Mission to Seafarers visited the vessel to provide food and support to the seafarers. The Master disputed that there were issues with food and even provided proof of purchase.
However, the complaint was more about the quality and quantity of food servings.
• The Master confirmed that none of the crew members have been paid since joining the vessel in Iran however only the Indian crew members were willing to take the matter up.
• Individual seafarers were interviewed, and indeed only Indian seafarers were willing to formally register their complaint with SAMSA officials and the Mission to Seafarers representative.
• SAMSA facilitated the Indian crew contact with the ITF.
Port State Inspection 04-05 July 2022
Subsequent to the initial visit, a full Port State nspection was conducted on board the MV Gulf Queen by SAMSA.
The following was the outcome:
• SAMSA detained the vessel on the following grounds: vessel unseaworthy and additionally MLC infringements were cited.
• There were 30 (thirty) deficiencies with a total of 9 (nine) detainable deficiencies.
• The condition of the vessel can be summarised as being substandard and a threat to both safety and the environment.
Vessel Arrest 08 July 2022
SAMSA were informed by the ITF that they have arrested the vessel.
Current status 13 July 2022
The vessel remain under detention and talks have been on ongoing between the ITF and the owner’s representatives. SAMSA has been informed by lawyers representing the ITF that an agreement has been reached with the owners. The complainants (Indian crew) will be paid their outstanding wages as per their latest contracts and will be repatriated home possibly on evening of 14 July 2022. The lawyers have committed to prioritising the seafarers’ welfare by allowing them to be repatriated once all the wages are paid and they can then finalise the issue of their own legal fees later with the owners.
ITF (22 July 2022)
With support from the ITF the vessel was arrested on 8th July 2022 in support of the wages owed to the 6 Indian crew on board. The 6 crew received their outstanding wages on 14th July 2022 and repatriated.
As a result of standing up for themselves to recover their owed wages, the 6 seafarers received unjust comments in their CDC books by the Master. The ITF will be taking this matter up with DG Shipping.