The entire crew of a Filipino flagged cargo ship forced to abandon their sinking vessel off the PNG coast more than a week ago are now stuck on the deck of a container ship in Sydney.
The ITF (The International Transport Workers’ Federation) says these 21 men from the general cargo ship “Foxhound” deserve better treatment.
ITF National Co-ordinator Dean Summers says they should have been given immediate help before arriving in Sydney today.
“They are survivors of a maritime tragedy who should have been landed as soon as possible to get immediate physical and mental health support,” Mr Summers said.
“Instead they have waited 8 days on board their rescue ship as it headed to Sydney.”
“They should be provided hotel accommodation, not left on the deck of a container ship waiting to be flown home.”
The crew were rescued from a life boat by the Chinese container ship COSCO Shanghai.
“The Foxhound never intended to come to Australia, but the seafarers should still be treated better,” Mr Summers said.
“The ITF demands Seafarers in Australian waters for any reason are treated in the best possible way.”
“These seamen should be accorded all the dignity and respect of survivors of a terrible maritime incident.
“They should have been given phones to contact their families and loved ones, clothes, accommodation and community support in Sydney.
The Seafarers Missions today scrambled to get clothes to the men so they can fly home tomorrow morning.