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ITF demands stranded Five Stars Fujian crew be allowed ashore

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) warned today the Chinese stranded crew onboard the Five Stars Fujian off Australia must be allowed onshore as supplies run out on the ship.

The bulker was detained six weeks ago by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) off Gladstone in Queensland over labour breaches.

“Welfare agencies have so far been denied access and there is no end in sight for these unfortunate souls,” ITF assistant co-ordinator Matt Purcell said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This has gone on for long enough. It’s time these seafarers are allowed to come onto dry land for humanitarian shore leave.”

A couple of weeks ago the Hong Kong Shipowners Association spoke out on the issue of the Hong Kong-flagged Five Stars Fujian, with the HKSOA’s managing director Arthur Bowring telling Splash: “The abandonment of seafarers is abhorrent, and this association and I personally will do everything we can to ensure that abandoned seafarers are properly cared for, the flag states to be made to realise that they also have an obligation to the ships that fly their flag and the seafarers that serve on the ships, and for the owners to be identified and, where possible, be made to realise that their actions are irresponsible and unacceptable.”

An end may be in sight for the crew however.

“The ship’s charterers have indicated they will resolve the matter of outstanding wages and fuel resupply, and AMSA has been in contact will all parties concerned to ensure that the actions required for the lifting of the detention are clearly understood,” AMSA said on Tuesday.


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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