Seafarers on the South Korean-owned bulk carrier ‘Contamines’ stood up and refused to work further as their ship came into berth in Panama in recent days. The seafarers adopted the action in order to get repatriated after being trapped working aboard the Contamines for months beyond their original contracts, with some crew members approaching a year at sea.
Crew had a long ordeal with the company and others before they finally got off.
With the Contamines South Korean-owned, the ship is actually flagged to the Marshall Islands. And so fairly soon after berthing, an inspector from e Marshall Islands registry came aboard first and talked to the crew. He was there to try to change their minds. Rather than holding the company accountable for extending contracts dangerously close to the 11-month international maximum, or investigating the unpaid wages – he pressured them to stay aboard. The agent told the seafarers that a fresh crew change and repatriation would be done at the ship’s next port of call, in Bermuda. After weeks of deception and false promises, the crew did not believe the Marshall Islands man.