ITF To The Rescue Of Imprisoned Crew

Crew on board the Japanese flagged Adriatic Highway, currently under arrest in Adelaide Harbour called for the assistance of the ITF yesterday after they were being denied shore leave.

The 24 Bulgarian and Filipino crew were being confined to the ship in the outer harbour after it was arrested due to a dispute between the shipping line NYK and the owner of the car vessel over damage to $11m in equipment on board.

"The company could well go belly up," said said Matt Purcell, International Transport Workers Federation assistant coordinator in Australia.  "The crew could be sitting there for weeks or months.  It's a human rights story.  The ship is arrested okay.  But the seafarers haven't been arrested.  They've done nothing wrong.  And they have a right to shore leave."

Meanwhile the ITF has been successful in getting food supplies to the crew on board the Hong Kong flagged Tien Hau in the South Australian Flinders Port of Wallaroo, before the ship sailed.  Yesterday the ITF exposed supplies were so low they were fishing for their dinner.  The $47,000 backpay claim is still under negotiation.

Contact Matt Purcell: 0418 387 966