Crew on detained ship in NZ finally get some back pay

Crew on detained ship in NZ finally get some back pay

Sydney: Another tale of unpaid crew has hit the headlines Down Under. Lancelot V, a Greek-owned and Panamanian flagged bulk carrier, has been detained in New Zealand’s Port of Tauranga (pictured), arrested on behalf of charterers. Its 18-man crew, a mix of Russians, Ukrainians and Filipinos, have gone unpaid and have had to fend for themselves. Finally, yesterday the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) managed to secure some cash for the crew as well as temporary visas for them to go ashore.

The 19-year-old, 41,515 dwt ship, whose classification certificates have expired and has faulty cranes, is owned by Throne Shipping.

“Conditions [onboard] have been OK but there has been shortages of food at some periods and there has also been no wages coming through over the last couple of months,” a local ITF spokesperson said, adding the treatment of the crew had been “totally inhumane”.

The ITF is trying to get repatriation for the men back to their home countries and back-pay estimated to be more than $100,000.

A number of similar incidents have been reported in Australia in recent months.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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