Current Affairs
Crew of ship which ran aground in Qawra still facing uncertainty

The crew members of the tanker which ran aground in Qawra feel as though they are just like the ship which they were on a few moments before it hit the rocks.

They feel that they have been left adrift and are facing uncertainty about their future because in the last few weeks, neither the owner of the tanker nor the Malta agent have spoken to them about their backdated wages and about getting back to their countries. They hope that their destiny will not be the same as that of the ship.

Dar il-Baħħara in Ta’ Liesse, Valletta has become the second home for the crew of the tanker which is registered in Tongo, which was shipwrecked eight days ago.

Clearly distressed, the Captain of the tanker, Joynal Abedin told Television Malta that neither the Greek owner of the ship nor the ship’s agents in Malta have contacted them to at least ask whether they needed anything. At the beginning of the week, the ship’s agent told PBS that the crew would be paid within the next few days by the owner who said he was coming to Malta.

“Till now I have no idea about. Nobody contact me yet,” said the Captain.

He added that it was only thanks to the Port chaplain Fr Joe Borg who had welcomed them at Dar il- Baħħara and Paul Falzon, an official from the General Workers Union which represents the International Maritime Federation in Malta, that they have found people who are making sure they have everything they need, including basic things such as food and clothes.

The seven crew members are anxiously waiting to receive the wages which are due to them so that they can go back home to their respective countries: Bangladesh, Russia and Egypt. “I’d like to go back home because already we are tired.”

The captain said that although they are in touch with their families, they have not told them what they have been through in order not to worry them. “We don’t like to involve our problem with our family.”

Television Malta is informed that the Maltese representative of the International Maritime Foundation has not received any answers from the owner of the tanker about fulfilling his obligations and paying the men their wages and the expenses for their trips back home.

On Sunday at the Qawra shore, the preparations continued to remove the fuel from the tanker, before the operation can start to remove the tanker from the rocks.