Over 30 Filipino crew members of the Yangtze Fortune livestock carrier are currently stranded in Australia. Soar Harmony Shipping, the registered vessel owner, possibly abandoned them.
Per information from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the Yangtze Fortune was arrested by members of the Australian Federal Court based in Portland.
Constructed in China in 2005 as a container vessel, the ship has at least five names and several registered owners and managers. The 4,800 dwt vessel reportedly transported livestock between China and Australia with a crew of 30 members. On its last trip, it was hoping to load about 5,200 heads of cattle bound for China.
The ITF and Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) collaborate with Admiralty Marshall to support crew members after the ship owner failed to pay wages or meet obligations under international maritime law.
The vessel, registered in Liberia, has been anchored close to Portland since October and is subject to Australian Court proceedings brought about by commercial creditors from Singapore to recover the debts owed to them by the ship-owner.
On Saturday, Bishop Ruperto C. Santos of the Diocese of Balanga reportedly appealed for compassion for 30 seafarers from the Philippines abandoned by a China-based vessel employer in the livestock carrier, Yangtze Fortune.
The Bataan prelate said they deplore the unjust treatment of the vulnerable crew members, presently stranded in Australia, whose dream is to provide their families with a better life. On behalf of Stella Maris Philippines, they extended their support for them.
Santos is Stella Maris Philippines’ CBCP Bishop Promoter.
References: Manila Times, Punto