Specifically, the Master of the MV Gulf Sky contacted with Human Rights at Sea on behalf of the crew, reporting that they are experiencing economic strain and periodic re-supply of essential victuals.
Many members of the crew have families with children and elderly parents who are depending on them financially and are now struggling to make ends meet, resulting in them having to take out burdensome loans, as HRAS marked.
The Charity conducted an investigation, reporting that there is an ongoing legal dispute between both the current and previous ownership of the vessel, which appears to have added to the already challenging situation for the crewmembers onboard during the pandemic.
At the same time, there were expressed serious concerns on the inadequate supplies onboard such as food, fresh water, fuel, hygiene conditions, medical supplies and lack of PPE.
In light of the above, the ship's manager contacted Human Rights at Sea and noted that the seafarers must show patience and understanding during the global pandemic in relation to their request for repatriation and payment of salaries.
The manager assured Human Rights at Sea that the company intends to repatriate those who wish to be when lockdown eases and flights are reopened. On the issue of the claim of outstanding wages, the company has acknowledged delay in paying and has justified this as a ramification of the COVID-19 disruption on the banking sector.
In response to the complaint filed by the crew, the Maritime Administration of the Commonwealth of Dominica was immediately notified and asked vessel’s owner/operator to pay outstanding wages and address the crew’s grievances.