Shivering Filipino seafarers ‘not paid wages and without warm clothing’ off Southampton

Seafarers onboard a ship held at Fawley Port in the south of the UK were found to be without warm clothing for days and their wages unpaid for three months.

The chemical tanker, Sea Emperor, was detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency on January 28, after it was found to have various equipment deficiencies. There was also a lack of cleaning products onboard. Sea Emperor is managed by Greek firm, Perosea Shipping.

Peter Morgan, assistant port chaplain for Southern Ports from seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) visited the ship to offer the crew assistance, after the third engineer contacted the International Transport Workers Federation.

Morgan was taken aback when he boarded the ship. “It was pungent onboard, to put it politely,” he said. “The crew were nervous around the marine superintendent and were reluctant to say anything at the time,” he added.

Sensing their uneasiness, Morgan left his contact details with the crew, who texted him later to say they had not been paid their wages and that they had no warm clothing with them.

“The next day I brought fresh clothes, soap and other cleaning materials and also took them sim cards so they could contact their families in the Philippines,” Morgan said. However, the ship had gone out to anchorage.

The following day, Morgan joined a marine police unit which visited the ship at anchorage and delivered the supplies to the seafarers.

“They appeared happier and more relaxed. They informed me they had finally been paid and that cleaning supplies had been put onboard.”

The ship has since left for Lagos, Nigeria, and is scheduled to arrive on February 18.

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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