|Abandonment ID:|| 00585|
|7-digit IMO no.:||6718427|
|Port of abandonment:||Tarragona, Spain|
|Abandonment date:||18 October 2021|
|Notification date:||29 October 2021|
|Reporting Member Govt. or Org.:||ITF|
|No. of Seafarers:||2|
|Nationalities:||Syrian Arab Republic|
Fire incident on board caused for vessel to be laid up in the port of Tarragona. Received an initial claim for owed wages and compensation and all crew were paid and repatriated except for 9 which were required for the safety of the ship (3 shifts of 3) by Harbor Master. A further 7 were repatriated and two were left. I was notified on the 18th that these 2 seafarers were sleeping at the pier.
|Actions taken:||20 October 2021: Flag State informed|
18/08/2021 for the first time after claim of owed wages and
compensation. No response received. Though not a notification of abandonment, I did contact them to inform
them of the difficult situation suffered by seafarers. On the 20/10/21, I informed them of the situation of abandonment of the 2 seafarers as they were found sleeping at the port.
Contacted Flag State, PSC, Port Authority, P&I and Seafarers Center for them to be aware. Shipowner reacted aggressively to my reporting to everyone but decided to act rapidly to repatriate them. I spoke with national police (immigration) to give them an exceptional permit to travel back home. This was authorized but later it was discovered that crew had expired passports. One in late September but the other had expired in May, 3 months prior to its call in Tarragona. I then contacted the Syrian embassy in Madrid, they offered to issue new passports, but it could take close to 2-3 months as original documents had to be sent from Syria. In addition, seafarers could only be at a 10 KM distance from the ship without a valid passport and only with seaman’s book. DPA offered to repatriate them with another vessel from a sister company going to Lebanon after its call to Tarragona. Port authority and PSC agreed.
PSC and I agreed that minimum standards needed to be checked in regard to accommodation and food prior to departure.
|Repatriation status:||Repatriation pending|
Waiting for confirmation from Madrid to be able to repatriate them with another ship going to Lebanon: MV Nabolsi I.
|Payment status:||Payment Pending|
Unknown. Originals were burnt in the fire. Soft copies are not available according to DPA.
|Comments and Observations:||ITF (29 October 2021)|
The fire and the language barrier make this case especially difficult to handle. Seafarers only speak Arabic, and all of their documents were burnt. Though their salaries were paid according to the Receipt & Release form provided by the shipowner when requested, it is close to impossible to verify this. Seafarers seemed scared to denounce anything that jeopardized their repatriation and simply repeated what the shipowner was saying. They even stated that they were fine with sleeping at the port and even declined the offer to go to a hotel, although it was achieved in a later stage when police informed them that they could not sleep there. Their age also made them especially vulnerable, they were 21 and 22 respectively, employed as “deck boys”.
ITF (30 November 2021)
Both seafarers that were pending repatriation were repatriated with the OK from port authorities and immigration via another ship from the company (Nabolsi I – 7128760), the ETA to Lebanon was the 17th November 2021 but as per AIS they are still on their way. From there, they would be transferred by car to their home in Syria. Resolved.