|Abandonment ID:|| 00513|
|Ship name:||Sea Coral[resolved]|
|7-digit IMO no.:||9077886|
|Port of abandonment:||Johor Bahru, Malaysia|
|Abandonment date:||8 January 2021|
|Notification date:||20 January 2021|
|Reporting Member Govt. or Org.:||ITF|
|No. of Seafarers:||25|
|Nationalities:||Bangladesh(4); China(14); Indonesia(1); Myanmar(5); Malaysia(1)|
|Circumstances:||P&I: GARD AS|
Vessel was arrested on 08/11/2020 on behalf of HSBC Singapore. Outstanding wages. Conditions on board are reported as very bad with the crew suffering mental stress due to the unpaid wages and no plan for repatriation.
Some crew have been on board for 18 months.
|Actions taken:||20 January 2021: Flag State informed|
Contact made with owner, flag state and P&I Club.
ITF is in contact with the captain to ensure immediate needs of the crew to be met.
|Repatriation status:||Repatriation pending|
All crew are awaiting repatriation.
|Payment status:||Payment Pending|
|Comments and Observations:||Govt. of Malaysia (12 February 2021)|
From Maritime Attache II, High Commission of Malaysia
We refer to your earlier email on the “Sea Coral”, especially regarding the unpaid wage and crew repatriation issues that have been reported. As background to the matter, the vessel and the crew predicament were raised to the Sheriff of the High Court of Malaya during the case management of the matter last Friday. We will revert to you on an update from the High Court after the court issues a summary order in the matter.
Other (12 February 2021)
From Maritime Cook Islands (MCI)
On 05/10/2020 Maritime Cook Islands (MCI) received a letter issued by Thomas Tan of OTPL (law firm acting on behalf of the vessel's owner) about their intention for “RE-DELIVERY OF THE VESSEL “SEA CORAL” WITHDRAWAL OF CREW AND ABANDONMENT OF VESSEL”
On 08/10/2020 MCI notified Mr Tan that the Statutory certificates would automatically be void when a Ship Manager withdraws and that it would unacceptable to have a vessel left with invalid certificates and without an approved manger. If this step is not taken, the Administration would therefore detain the vessel.
On 08/11/2020 The vessel was arrested and placed under the Sheriff of the High Court of Malaysia, following a request from HSBC bank.
On 30/12/2020 MCI received an MLC complaint from the vessel's Master related to the outstanding crew wages (since October 2020), the expiration of SEAs and the repatriation request from the crew members.
On 30/12/2020 MCI made attempts to contact the parties involved and confirm or see if there were any steps taken to resolve the unpaid wages issue. At this stage, Administration had recognized the situation as an abandonment case. The Administration had set a time-frame by the 4th January 2021 that if no correspondence had been received, we would contact the insurers (GARD).
On 11/01/2021 MCI had confirmed line of communication with GARD who had confirmed that they have been comforting crew. Updating insurers steps in guaranteeing repatriation and settlement of unpaid wages.
Between 11/01 and 21/01 2021 several exchanges of emails have been made with the P&I and Sheriff. Furthermore P&I and Sheriff corresponded with owners, managers and arresting party in order to solve the position of the crew.
On 29/01/2021 MCI issued a notice of detention for the M/T Sea Coral, in order to both give reassurance to expedite the disembarkation of crew and to apply pressure on the involved parties to pay overdue wages.
On 01/02/2021, P&I intervened in the court proceedings. The High Court of Malaysia agreed to schedule a hearing date on 08/02/2021, which was postponed to 11/02/2021, due to the fact there are now two applications:
- Gard P&I's application to pay crew wages and repatriate crew
- HSBC's application to set aside the order for Sale and Release.
MCI is following closely the situation and keep cooperating with the P&I in pressuring the relevant parties for a pathway to repatriate crew. MCI is confident that the court hearing set for 11/02/2021 will be able to find a favourable solution to resolve the pending issues affecting the crew onboard.
MCI is also in contact with the vessel's Master, the court Sheriff and the vessel's managers, while awaiting the outcome of the court proceedings.
We will inform IMO of any further development and hopefully of the successful resolution of the case in due time.
ITF (30 April 2021)
Please note an update to the SEA CORAL case, which now means that it is RESOLVED.
The vessel has been arrested by the High Court of Malaysia. Half the crew signed off on 26th February 2021, which left the minimum safe manning crew on board. The remaining crew were given new contracts and the outstanding wages for January and February were paid. The Captain has confirmed that there are no outstanding issues.