Light at the End of Tunnel For Stranded Seafarers
Seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) has visited the abandoned crew of a Turkish ship which has been detained in Fowey, Cornwall since early this month.
The general cargo vessel, Munzur, was detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for various health and safety issues. Its crew have been able to get ashore for limited periods.
The ship was found to be in a shocking condition, with dirty bathroom facilities, unsuitable food storage, corroded pipework, broken lights and inadequate laundry facilities. Some crew members had also not been paid their wages.
With the help of a local boatman, AoS Fowey port chaplain John Pinhay was able to go on board the detained ship.
“I spent an hour with the Turkish captain who was quite distressed as he had signed up for a one-month contract and three months later he is not able to return home to his wife and three sons. He has not been paid, but he is not concerned for himself, but for his mixed crew of 11,” John said.
“I also met four crew, who had little or no English, but I had a warmth coming back to me that said ‘we have not been forgotten,’” he added.
Following intervention by the International Transport Workers Federation and the local Mission to Seafarers, the crew have been supplied with food and two washing machines. Those who have not been paid are expected to receive their wages once the MCA inspects the vessel and gives it the all clear.