That is how much the shipowner owed to the seafarers before the ship arrived at the port of Novorossiysk. Earlier, the 13 crewmembers from the m/v Bold Pilot (IMO 9175195, flag of Panama, including a Russian, a Ukrainian and Azerbaijanis, applied to the ITF inspector Olga Ananina with request to assist in obtaining the outstanding wage for four months. Also the food on board was running out.
The threat of port state control inspection did its job and even before entering the port, the crew received their debts. Then, upon arrival, food was delivered on board. However, it still did not help to avoid inspection. The next morning, the PSC inspectors found out 42 violations, of which 10 were grounds for detention. Among them is the fact that 2nd Mate from Azerbaijan has been on board for more than a year – since February 1, 2020.
It should be noted that the Bold Pilot has long been familiar to the local port authorities and the ITF. In August, she was already detained in Novorossiysk but then vessel was under different name-Baltic Mariner. The tanker, owned by Palmali, did not comply with the requirements of the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention as there was no valid insurance cover. In June 2020, the company Alfa Insurance withdrew the certificate of financial responsibility of the employer to the crews. Since June 24, the certificate of the insurance company SK Soglasie supposedly has been delivered on Baltic Mariner, but it turned out to be false. After Palmali referred to the contract with another insurer, Absolute, on July 17, but the story was repeated with it.
The problems were resolved only by the end of October when the ship passed to a new owner and the seafarers, many of whom had been on board for about a year, were paid off the debts of the previous employer and repatriated. Except of the 2nd mate, whose second contract on board had been expired, and the salary for the entire time of service came up to $25,847. At the same time, as per information from the seafarer himself, on February 15, he submitted the request for discharging, and since March 1, he was not listed as an employee due to health problems. He repeatedly asked for medical assistance but the company did not react.
There are also questions about the tanker's ownership as according to Equasis, the beneficial owner is the Turkish company ADMR Shipping &Trade LTD, but some of the crewmembers claim that the ship was taken on a bareboat charter from Palmali.
Now Bold Pilot is on the roadstead of the port of Novorossiysk and when it is unknown when she is allowed to leave. The list of violations on board is so large so that it will take time to fix them. Surprisingly, according to Equasis, just a few months ago, on December 4, 2020, the tanker was inspected by the port state control in Malta and was not detained- either its technical condition has deteriorated sharply since then, or the inspectors did not strictly approach the inspection.
«Novorossiysk is the place where the PSC, in the good sense of the word, works ruthlessly. If there are serious violations on board, the ship will definitely be detained. Unfortunately, although the problems with salaries have been resolved, there is still the issue of changing the 2nd mate. Today, in Novorossiysk, the repatriation of foreign seafarers is almost impossible as in order to go ashore, they are required to verify the results of PCR tests. But you can only do it in the clinic, where it is impossible to get just because of these restrictions. In addition, the ship is in the roadstead. That is, it turns out a kind of vicious circle. Perhaps the tanker will be allowed to reach another port, where it will be possible to change the crewmember so the problem will be solved»- Olga Ananina notes.