Not for the first time India’s Varun Shipping has been shamed by its failure to look after its crew.
Reuters is reporting that crew on the Amba Bhakti tanker, stranded off Shanghai, have not been paid since February. The crew hail from India and Bangladesh and are now owed tens of thousands of dollars.
The ship has been moored off Shanghai for the past three years and its engines are now in urgent need of repair.
Struggling Varun has history when it comes to crew neglect. In 2014, for instance, the Indian owner left two ship’s crews to fend for themselves for many months off Dubai.
The Mission to Seafarers, a UK charity, is challenging charterers to avoid using companies that have mistreated crew in the past, while asking port authorities to ensure that vessels have the necessary financial securities in place before allowing them into port. Cases of crew abandonment are spiking as the shipping downturn stretches on and on.
Earlier this month, Reverend Ken Peters from the Mission to Seafarers blasted the rise in the incidents of abandonment as “an indictment on those substandard operators who bring the rest of the shipping industry into disrepute”.
“The human tragedy caused is desperate,” Peters told Splash, adding: “The lack of food, water and fuel makes a ‘dead ship’ a health hazard and unfit for human habitation yet seafarers are caught as the victims, often of financial mismanagement and not of their own making.”