'No end in sight': Stranded crew won't leave until wages paid
THE nation's chief maritime authority is lobbying the charterer and the owner of a vessel stranded off the coast of Gladstone to re-fuel it, pay crew members their wages and ensure they have the food needed for the voyage to Hong Kong.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the Five Stars Fujian, estimated to be carrying $40 million worth of coal loaded at Mackay's Hay Point, would remain detained until it was "satisfied that provisions are adequate and crew's wages have been paid".
Yesterday, an AMSA spokesman told this paper it had contacted its Hong Kong counterpart and arranged for long-term supplies to be delivered by the vessel's owner.
Today, AMSA said the Hong Kong Marine Department was "addressing the deficiencies" of the owner, with the possibility the charterer would need to provide financial assistance before the ship moved.
Gladstone Ports Corporation today issued a statement saying it had organised a helicopter to take additional supplies out while "AMSA is now working to secure a charter vessel to transport a significant amount of additional supplies to the vessel".
But International Transport Workers Federation's assistant co-ordinator Matt Purcell said he saw no end in sight for the dispute, as the crew would need about $25,000 worth of food for the 16-day voyage.
The ship, arrested on July 19, was released by AMSA last Wednesday.
But when AMSA inspectors contacted the ship's master on August 12 they found the crew's wages had not been paid and the crew's food supplied were running dangerously low.