Crew Members on Ship Stuck in Limbo Treated Well

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The local residents in Dallas were concerned about the welfare of crew members on the container ship Hanjin Vienna reached for their telephones when they learned the vessel was stuck in limbo in waters off Victoria.

Kathryn Murray, manager of the Mission to Seafarers office said, “The phone rang off the hook,” in Vancouver.  The mission is a world-wide organization that assists seafarers.

Murray elaborated that the callers enquired about what they can do to help the seafarers stuck on the ship.  She further added that the representatives of the German-flagged vessel were taking good care of the crew.

The supplies have been pre-paid and delivered to the ship, she said. “This company has looked after everything.  I have never seen anything like this.”  She also thanked everyone who offered to help and the ones who were concerned about the welfare of the sailors.

The ship and its crew are caught in the middle of the financial collapse of Korea’s Hanjin Shipping. The Vienna is not owned by Hanjin. The ship is owned by a German firm and is managed by Reederei NSB, also of Germany, which is taking care of the vessel.

On September 1st, the concerned ship was deemed to be under arrest when it was at Deltaport Terminal, Roberts Bank.  It was then allowed to leave Vancouver and anchor at Constance Bank, off Dallas Road.  The ship was permitted to return to Vancouver for acquiring provisions a couple of weeks ago before returning to Constance Bank.  It has been docked on the waters off the Dallas road for seven weeks now.

Murray, who has spoken to a ship representative, said: “They have looked after all the needs of the seafarers, even by bringing our chaplains on board by water taxi a couple of times”. Murray remembered a past situation when a different ship was anchored off Vancouver for eight months.  “We had to take out food and water.  We had to go out there all the time.”

Bettina Wiebe, Head of corporate communications for NSB, said in an email from Germany: “All 22 crew members are safe and well-cared-for — including provision and their payment.”

Although it is understood that the crew was solely from the Philippines, Wiebe said there are also crew members from Germany, Poland, and Ukraine.  The Nautical and Technical Department of NSB were said to be in close contact with the captain, as well as with representatives of ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation), and all involved authorities.

Wiebe said NSB could not provide any information about the cargo on board the Vienna.  She said that “NSB is making assiduous efforts to clarify the situation with Hanjin and to make the vessel proceed [on] her voyage.”

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Source: Times Colonist

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