Shipowner Sam Tariverdi’s Saint James Shipping is back in control of one of its vessels after the intervention of Yemeni military.
The handover of the 17,475-dwt Ariana (built 2016) at the port of Mocha came after a standoff between two rival crews, which TradeWinds has previously reported.
The former Global Radiance Ship Management crew had demanded months of back wages and refused to leave the ship, but it is now paid off and on its way home to Karachi by a circuitous route.
The Ariana is one of four tankers that mortgagee Entrust Global is seeking to repossess. Crews of two arrested tankers in India and a laid-up ship in the Dominican Republic remain unpaid.
Representatives of the owner, the lender, manager and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) trade union all confirm the handover of the Ariana at the port of Mocha.
“I can confirm that an ITF representative has informed me that the Global Radiance crew has left the ship,” said Charles Buss of Watson, Farley, and Williams, EnTrust Global’s London lawyers. “They were placed ashore in Yemen, the ITF representative spoke to the master in Jordan. They have been paid their wages up to 25 or 26 July, but they will be owed basic wages through the day they arrive in Karachi.”
Force was involved in the handover, according to the ship manager.
“The crew has been disembarked in the war zone,” chairman Abdul Lateef Siddiqui of the Singapore-based Pakistani management company told TradeWinds. “They were forced to leave against their will by being deprived of food and water.
“The master told us armed people had come on board,” said Siddiqui, referring to captain Syed Sajid Ali. “When you see somebody coming with guns — my instructions were: your safety and your crew come first.”
Saint James disagreed with the characterisation of the dispute as a “tug-of-war” between rival masters.
“[The] position is that owners lost confidence in the previous crew after a series of incidents and required to change them, which did not meet with the approval of the sub-managers Global Radiance,” said Saint James in the e-mail statement confirmed by Tariverdi. “The crew have now been changed and fully paid off and repatriated, all at the expense of owners.”
Sources directly involved in the dispute have presented different pictures of the underlying conflict, but Saint James underscores its dispute with its managers.
“There are ongoing disputes with Global Radiance regarding other vessels in the fleet which has led to two other vessels being currently detained in Indian ports. We are hopeful these problems will be resolved soon and it remains the intention of Saint James and its principals that all seafarers shall receive all payments due to them,” Saint James said in the statement. “The difficulties and delays suffered by the seafarers are much regretted.”
Saint James’ plans for the Ariana were not immediately clear.
Lender EnTrust Global already holds a sale order from an Indian court for the arrested 11,479-dwt Sol (built 2007) at Hazira and is seeking a sale order for the 18,041-dwt Aeon (built 2012) under arrest at Mumbai.