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Offshore supply ship detained in Great Yarmouth as company fails to pay crew wages

PUBLISHED: 17:12 30 August 2016 | UPDATED: 17:12 30 August 2016

The Malaviya Twenty in Yarmouth. Photo: Anne Edwards

The Malaviya Twenty in Yarmouth. Photo: Anne Edwards

Anne Edwards

An offshore supply ship has been detained in Great Yarmouth after failing an international regulations inspection.

The Malaviya Twenty, an Indian-owned vessel, arrived in the port on June 8 and was detained on July 4 by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) union with the support of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

There were “five deficiencies with four ground for detention” found after a port state control (PSC) check, which is the inspection of foreign ships in national ports.

The ship’s medical certificate had expired as well as record of wages to its employees was missing.

It comes after another ship, the Malaviya Seven, was detained in Aberdeen in June - both are owned by Mumbai’s GOL Offshore Ltd.

Malaviya Seven was held over similarly “missing” wages for its staff members and a lack of “calculation and payment of wages” record in June.

Both vessels’ “seafarers employment agreement” were also invalid.

In Aberdeen, it was thought past and present crew members were owed around £175,000, and the ship was held for nearly two months before the company paid the crew.

That ship was released on August 4 after wages were paid.

However, the MCA confirmed the Malaviya Twenty was still under detention.

ITF inspector Paul Keenan had been dealing with the situation. He said: “Originally there were 15 crew on board when I attended in mid-June. Since then the chief engineer, second officer and the electrician were repatriated to India on medical grounds and family reasons. These crew members have not yet received their wages from the end of May up to the time they left and until they do the MCA will not release the ship. This is somewhere in the region of $25.000.”

This would be around £19,000.

He added: “At the moment I am still trying to get the three crew who left the vessel their wages.

“The 12 remaining crew have been paid up to the end of July. Seven of them were replaced last Friday and have now returned home. The other five remaining crew will be relieved in the coming days.

“In addition to this the crew who were previously on board - and left in December 2015 - have not received their wages and are owed $172.000 [around £130,000]. There has been no word from the company on payment of their salaries.

An MCA spokeswoman said: “The MCA understands that all crew on board have been paid their wages up until July 2016. All payments are now up to date except for the master and another officer, whose wages are still owed for January/February this year. Some crew changes took place at Great Yarmouth and those crew members leaving were all fully paid and repatriated at the company’s expense.

“Crew wages for August are due for payment by September 15. The vessel will only be released from detention when an MCA surveyor is satisfied that all the grounds for detention have been dealt with.”

Great Yarmouth port chaplain Peter Paine said the Seafarers’ Centre had been in contact with the crew.

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