CATHOLIC seafarer’s charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) intervened to assist a crew aboard a ship detained by English authorities, after they were found to be without warm clothes, cleaning supplies, and had not been paid for three months, AoS reported.
The chemical tanker Sea Emperor, was detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency on January 28 at the Port of Fawley after it was found to have various equipment deficiencies. The agency also found that there was a lack of cleaning products on board.
Peter Morgan, Assistant Port Chaplain for Southern Ports from seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) visited the ship to offer the mostly-Filipino crew assistance after the third engineer contacted the International Transport Workers Federation.
Describing conditions on the ship, Morgan said, “It was ‘pungent’ on board, to put it politely. The crew were nervous around the marine superintendent and were reluctant to say anything at the time.”
Morgan said he left his contact information with the crew, who texted him later to say that they had no warm clothes and had not received their pay for three months.
The chaplain recounted that an attempt to visit the ship the following day to deliver clothing, cleaning and hygiene supplies, and cell phone sim cards to allow the crew to contact their families was unsuccessful, because the ship had been moved out to the anchorage.
Morgan then sought the assistance of a marine police unit, who escorted him to the ship at anchorage the next day and managed to successfully deliver the supplies to the seafarers.
The attention from the authorities and the seafarers’ charity had apparently encouraged the ship’s owners to take corrective action, Morgan said.
“They appeared happier and more relaxed. They informed me they had finally been paid and that cleaning supplies had been put on board,” he said.
At last report, the Sea Emperor was en route to Lagos, Nigeria, and is scheduled to arrive on February 18.
The AoS team in Manila said they were in the process of contacting the crewmembers’ families here in the Philippines to offer any support they may need.