The crew of the Russian fishing vessel "Argo" asked for repatriation assistance
According to Chairman of the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers’ Union of Russia (SUR FETO) Nikolai Sukhanov, the crew of the vessel anchored at South Korea turned to the Union for assistance as they faced difficulties with returning home. Moreover, the crew argued they were not paid wages, and the ship was not properly supplied.
“The ship arrived in Busan in February for repairs which were not paid for. Now the vessel is anchored off a port and can’t sail off for the unpaid bill for repairs. There are only 15 crew members on board, five of which joined the vessel in Korsakov to change seafarers on other ships of this company. However, the change was not made, and these five seafarers remain on board. Some crew members have been staying on board of the Argo since last year,” - Sukhanov said.
The crew consists of seafarers from Primorye, including one member of the SUR. The amount of the shipowner's debt is about RUB2 million for this year alone. Some seafarers have not received their salaries since November, others need repatriation as they have been on board beyond their contracted period. The Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk-based company “Pride” dropped out any contacts with crew.
According to Nikolai Sukhanov, having learned about this, the Union first of all contacted the Far Eastern Transport Prosecutor's Office, which instructed the Sakhalin Transport Prosecutor's Office to intervene this issue. The Prosecutors have already begun to examine the situation.
Representatives of the Prosecutor's office visited the office of the shipping company, and their action had an impact. The Chairman of the SUR FETO tells that the company have already supplied the vessel with food for 10 days in advance. Also, the company has delivered on board employment agreements and offered the crew to sign them retroactively. The company has promised to repatriate the part of the crew. In addition, they promised to dock the vessel to continue it’s repairs.
“Things have moved forward, and the crew have already thanked us for assistance,” - Nikolai Sukhanov said. “Further the Prosecutors will take each debt case individually and find out why the company has not fulfilled its obligations towards the crew members. We keep to follow situation and we are always in touch with seafarers.”