ITF and FTA collaborate to repatriate seafarers from UAE
Since 2016, the ITF has been assisting seafarers on board three vessels, all owned by Venous Ships Mgmt in the port of Khor Fakkan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE):
• City Elite – IMO 9486908, Liberia flag
• Al-Nouf – IMO 9422990, Liberia flag
• Lowdale (renamed as Mercury) – IMO 891779, Palau flag
The seafarers on board these vessels have endured inhumane conditions as the owner systematically abandoned them without wages, without food and water and without fuel to power the basic necessities like refrigeration and air conditioning.
During 2016 and 2017 several of the crew left the vessels without being able to confirm if they had received partial wages or any wages at all.
Once again in 2018, the ITF was contacted by 14 crew members from the three vessels, some of them having been on board for nine months at anchorage outside the port.
On 19 March 2018, the Federal Transport Authority (FTA) of the UAE took the bold decision to ban Venous Ships Mgmt from operating any of their vessels in UAE ports or waters for repeated seafarer abandonment.
The FTA and ITF have worked closely to coordinate the repatriation of the seafarers, which the ITF part-funded, and now after months of suffering the nine Sri Lankan and five Indian seafarers are home.