Australian authorities detained the Liberian-registered bulk carrier ‘Anna-Elisabeth’ after international crew onboard the vessel complained of insufficient food, bullying aboard the vessel and denial of shore leave.
ITF received the complaints from onboard the ship berthed at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal on 25 March and were immediately acted upon with an ITF Inspection conducted within two hours.
ITF national coordinator Dean Summers substantiated the crew’s serious concern finding inadequate stores onboard and that crew had not had shore leave since 23 January in South Africa.
Meat and fish were freezer burnt and fresh provisions were very low, certainly not enough to get 17 seafarers to Singapore. It is our suspicion that this company is under intense financial pressure and have sought to save money wherever they can. The master confirmed the food ration was $7 per day for all meals,
The ITF was also surprised to see that the company had a new crew category of “Deck Rider” on their crew list which immediately red-flagged the qualifications of all of the crew.
The ITF requested that AMSA inspect the vessel, citing the key issues: shore leave, lack of provisions, bullying and concern about minimum safe manning and crew qualifications.
The ship was not permitted to sail by AMSA at the scheduled 6:00pm on Monday 25 March after ITF raised the alarm. Government inspectors were dispatched to the ship on 26 March where a detailed inspection continued throughout the day.
AMSA officially detained the vessel under the MLC Convention. The Liberian register is reportedly sending a representative to the ship to work with the master and owners to rectify the long list of deficiencies.
The vessel is owned by German owners Johann MK Blumenthal. In recent weeks, ITF inspectors in Europe have uncovered other cases of food shortages on Blumenthal vessels, according to Summers.