The master of the chemical tanker Qaaswa has contacted Splash with details of another shocking case of crew abandonment. The ship has been anchored off Tunisia since last May. It has now run out of power with the last generator recently running out of fuel.
The vessel is in full darkness and at night is now a dangerous hindrance, anchored at the mouth of the port of Sfax.
What little food is left is beginning to spoil with the end of the power supply while fresh water supplies have run out. Moreover, there is no more medicine onboard and five crewmembers are reported as sick and in need of an urgent visit to a doctor.
“In this situation crew are dieing (sic) onboard,” the ship’s master, Captain Yehia Kamel, wrote in an email to Splash. “All ship crew need to leave ship immediately with all their salaries and air tickets,” he added.
The UAE-flagged ship belongs to Sharjah-based Alco Shipping Services, a company, which has been linked to a number of crew abandonment cases in the past 12 months.
Onboard the Qaaswa are two Indians, three Bangladeshis and 13 Egyptians. The local embassies of the affected crew have been contacted in Tunisia who are now trying to find a solution to the crisis.
Many of the ship’s certificates have expired and payment arrears are now more than six months.