Cargo ship crew repatriated

A dozen crew members of cargo ship Srakane (IMO 8509703), which was stopped after the crew complained of a shortage of food and water and non-payment of wages, have been repatriated home, four of them on July 18th and the remaining eight on July 26th. The cost of repatriation exceeded BRL1m ($193,000) and will be paid for by the Brazilian government and by a company from Brazil, the Labour Prosecutor’s Office said. Four of the crew remain in Brazil.

The ship was contracted by the company Ocean Wide, which in turn had been contracted to transport agricultural products by CBA Tranding, a Santos company, in São Paulo.

The vessel left Casablanca, Morocco, for Brazil in late May. In mid-June the crew, one man from Slovakia, three from Montenegro and 12 from Ukraine said that food and water had become scarce on board and that they were owed seven months’ wages. The ship also had problems with documentation for transporting products.

In Sao Sebastiao the crew sought out the authorities to help them return home. The MPT (Labour Prosecutor’s Office) filed a lawsuit against the company, which because of the backpay owned added up to a debt of approximately R1.1m. It was agreed that the CBA would assume the costs of repatriation of workers and would not have to pay debts for hiring Ocean Wide. Repatriation costs should reach R1.3m and will be shared with the MPT.

All crew were taken to Guarulhos airport, and flown to Kiev. The Slovakian crew member and three Ukrainians were still in Brazil.

New Brazilian crew members – paid by the CBA – will keep the ship running. As of July 29th she remained moored off Sao Sebastiao.

1986-built, Panama-flagged, 4,839 gt Srakane is owned by Vintage Trading SRO care of manager Oceans Wide Ltd of San Gwann, Malta.