German Cargo Ship Detained in NSW

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  • The cargo ship Anna Elisabeth was detained by Australian authorities at Port Kembla on Monday.
  • The vessel was not crewed in accordance with minimum safety standards.
  • It didn’t have enough food for its next journey and the rescue boat crane was not fully operational.
  • The crew did not receive shore leave since February 23 in South Africa.
  • The ITF has requested the Australian government to send an urgent international alert for an audit of all Johann MK Blumenthal ships.

A Liberian-registered cargo ship was detained at a NSW port after its crew complained of insufficient food and bullying on board, reports news.com.au.

What happened?

The Anna Elisabeth, owned by German shipping company Johann MK Blumenthal, was detained by on Monday. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority confirmed on Wednesday it had detained the bulk carrier. This was the result of a complaint filed by the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

What was the problem?

AMSA said in a statement to AAP that the vessel was not crewed in accordance with minimum safety standards. It didn’t have enough food for its next journey and the rescue boat crane was not fully operational.

“AMSA will detain any vessel which is found to be in breach of the Maritime Labour Convention or other Australian standards; repeat offenders risk being banned from Australian waters,” AMSA ship safety general manager Allan Schwartz said.

No Shore Leave and Stale Food

The crew has not received shore leave since February 23 in South Africa, according to the International Transport Workers’ Federation. “Meat and fish were freezer burnt and fresh provisions were very low. They were certainly not enough to get 17 seafarers to Singapore,” ITF national coordinator Dean Summers said in a statement.

Why is this happening?

“It is our suspicion that this company is under intense financial pressure and have sought to save money wherever they can.” The ITF has requested the Australian government send an urgent international alert for an audit of all Johann MK Blumenthal ships.

Mr. Summers said the ITF had found food shortages on other Johann MK Blumenthal ships in Europe over recent weeks.

Further Actions

“Blumenthal is a priority for the ITF, and we will continue to inspect their vessels in ports around the world to ensure that more than 700 seafarers across their fleet aren’t subjected to these exploitative practices,” Mr. Summers said. The ship operators procured more food for the vessel, according to AMSA, which will hold the ship in Australia until the remaining deficiencies are rectified. Johann MK Blumenthal has not commented yet.

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