K Coral is an 80,000 ton Panamanian flagged FOC ship owned in Korea and has carried fly ash into the port.
National ITF coordinator Dean Summers said that that the 14 strong Philipino crew had suffered significantly under the 4 Korean officers over a number of months however the situation had deteriorated quickly after the attempted suicide of one of the men on route to Newcastle.
The remaining crew some seriously traumatized have had no access to counciling or support until the ITF intervened yesterday. The ship was expected to sail this morning at 0300hrs however the crew have demanded to be repatriated home from newcastle and have refused to leave.
This is just the latest gruesome episode of Seafarers suffering under the banner of the FOC system in Newcastle following three fatalities over the past months- said Mr Summers.