After Thirteen Months Crew sent home from vessel Qaaswa -Tunisia
12 seafarers on board the Qaaswa have been sent home after 13 months without food and wages,they were left abandoned off the Tunisian coast .
The ITF said the scenario is one of the most notorious cases of abandonment seen by the ITF in years, and the third crew on board the UAE-flagged tanker that was effectively repatriated after being dropped off at sea by Alco Shipping Services. The 12 crew from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar flew back on May 31 without their salaries.
Over the past three years, the ITF has continued to intervene to assist, repatriate and recover salaries for mariners stranded on the Qaaswa, providing supplies and drinking water to the crew.
“After 13 months we’re going home,” one of the seafarers said before flying home. “Thanks to ITF and special thanks to Captain Majed and Mohamed Arrachedi for their help. With our wages, we’re going home. Thanks a lot to you.
ITF inspector and Arab World contact network leader Mohamed Arrachedi congratulated the Tunisian union and UAE officials on their efforts to promote seafarers. “No seafarer should have to go through the experience endured by the families on board the Qaaswa.
We promise to stay vigilant, to stay alert to such instances. Seafarers ‘ abandonment is a maritime sector disease that all industry performers must work together to eradicate, “Arrachedi said.
The Indian government blacklisted two UAE businesses for abandonment last year, Alco Shipping Services and Shah Al Arab Marine Agency. The choice was spurred following the 22-month stranding of Indian seafarers in Dubai on board eight vessels.
In 2014, the Maritime Labor Convention was amended to establish an economic security system to cover repatriation costs, four months of unpaid wages and essential facilities for deserted seafarers.
These amendments came into force in January 2017. Since then, the ITF has been monitoring cases of abandonment around the globe.