Current Affairs
Crew of vessel which ran aground in Qawra start to leave Malta

Following days of uncertainty, the crew of the ship which ran aground in Qawra more than two weeks ago left for their country after being paid €30,000 in due salaries. The crew were eagerly waiting to join their families and showed their gratitude for the assistance received by the Maltese and the hospitality at the Seafarers Centre in Floriana.

Early on Tuesday, five of the seven sailors of the ship received their due money and the necessary documentation to return to their country.

The ship’s captain, Joynal Abedin, spoke on the solidarity shown by the Maltese whom he said were a blessing for the uncertainty he and his crew where in. “We’re only interested to go home; waiting to see our families – that’s why we’re in a hurry to go home. Thank you Maltese people and all authorities.”

The crew – four from Bangladesh, and Egyptian and two Russians – left Malta by Tuesday evening on a flight to Istanbul to continue with their voyage.

Before leaving Malta, a representative of the insurance company with which the ship was registered paid the salaries to the crew members – some of whom had not been paid since November.

Paul Falzon, a General Workers Union officer who is the Malta representative of the International Federation of Seafarers, criticized the ship’s owner who offered no assistance to the crew while they were in Malta.

He said that the Maritime Work Convention makes it clear that in case a ship is abandoned, the crew should be given financial security by the ship’s insurance company.

“We worked together so that they receive their payments, which had been due since November, and also brought them the repatriation tickets to go back to their families”, Mr Falzon added.

The Harbour chaplain, Fr Joe Borg – who welcomed the ship’s crew at the Floriana centre, said the crew members really appreciated the gesture. “When last Saturday, before the evening Mass at the Madonna ta’ Liese church, I invited the captain to thank the people, he started crying. He couldn’t speak further with the emotion and appreciation felt for the Maltese kind gesture”.

Asked about the future of the ship who is still grounded at Qawra, Harbour Master Captain David Bugeja said that Transport Malta is in contact with the ship’s owner and the insurance company.
“At this stage he are prudent to give more time to the owner and the insurances involved to make their assessments on the way they will dispose of this ship”.

Captain Bugeja added that the insurance company sent experts to draft a report on the ship’s condition and expressed hope that the ship will be removed from Qawra coast in a few more days.

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AĠĠORNAT (4): Il-baħħara tal-vapur li nkalja fil-Qawra kienu ilhom xhur ma jitħallsu

Il-baħħara tal-vapur li nkalja fil-Qawra għadhom ma jafux x’se jsir minnhom