Abandoned Filipino seafarers are owed more than a quarter million dollars in unpaid wages. They’ve to wait for the court verdict and must remain with the ship, unable to return home to their family.
Thirty Filipino seafarers are stranded in Australia after their employer, the owner of the livestock carrier ship Yangtze Fortune, abandoned both ship and crew.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is charging the vessel’s owner Soar Harmony Shipping of China and has detained the ship in Portland, Victoria after the company failed to pay wages to the crew and meet all other financial obligations under international maritime law.
According to reports, Yangtze Fortune is registered under the flag of Liberia, but operated a trading route between Australia and China. The ship has been anchored near Portland since September 2022 and is now subject to an abandonment notice lodged with the International Labor Organization (ILO). The ILO has already received an abandonment notice for the crew that totals 36 crew members, 30 of whom are Filipino.
The Australian Federal Court is now looking into a case filed by commercial creditors from Singapore to recover debts owed by Soar Harmony Shipping.