The story of the crew from mv NEW ORION (IMO 9250141, the flag of Georgia) has appeared in all media: 19 Ukrainian crew members have spent several weeks on board the broken vessel 20 nautical miles off Taiwan.
From April 24, the shipowner Euroseas International Limited had been failing to fulfill its obligations to the crew both for remuneration payment and vessel’s supply: the ship was out of food, fresh water and fuel, and the spare parts for ship repair were not supplied.
It all started in the Chinese Zhoushan, where NEW ORION was berthed at those times. The crew addressed the ITF London for help. The headquarters brought in the ITF Inspector in Georgia, who informed the shipowner of the possible sanctions from the flag administration. In response, the shipowner notified the administration that the vessel was put up for sale.
The crew was informed that the measures had been taken, and the owner would soon settle his debts. Meanwhile, the ship’s agent refused to cooperate with the owner and another agent was appointed under the pressure of the ITF. The new agent delivered diesel fuel onboard the NEW ORION from time to time, as well as basic products until the ship left for the port of Taichung, Taiwan.
The first weeks the ship spent off the Taichung port waiting for any update. When the crew again ran out of food, they re-applied to the ITF and the P&I Club, whose representatives visited the ship several times.
To help the seafarers soonest, in addition to the ITF headquarters and Inspectors in Georgia and Taiwan, the MTWTU was also engaged to the case. The Georgian maritime authorities were also giving their full cooperation.
The parties made sure the crew and their relatives ashore were well informed and regularly updated on the case. At the moment, according to the Deputy Director of the Maritime Transport Agency of Georgia Ivane Abashidze, the seafarers have been paid their owed wages in full. The Taichung Port Administration and the local agent are to ensure the crew soonest replacement.