17 November 2012

Kenya: Stranded Crew to Return Home

SEVEN Kenyan seafarers stranded in Taiwan since August will return home this week.

The abandoned crew told officials of the Seafarers Union of Kenya on Wednesday that they will be paid a half of their pay arrears and given free passage home.

Union secretary general Andrew Mwangura said the ship owner, who has gone bankrupt, cannot afford to pay them the full $17,866 (Sh1.53 million) salary arrears.

Seven Kenyan crew members of a South Korean flagged and owned fishing boat Myung Sun Yu 727(Ex-Yu Shin 505) have since last August been stranded in port Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

"They said they were abandoned by the ship owner far away from home in the foreign land without pay or fresh water, fuel supply and ship stores after joining the ill-fated vessel last October at the sea port of Busan, South Korea," said Mwangura.

The vessel had a multinational crew composed of 5 Koreans, 7 Kenyans, 3 Vietnamese, 2 Nepal and 1 Chinese.

All other crew members have since gone home living behind the Kenyan crew.

The abandoned Kenyan crew is comprised of Ahmed Athumani, Andrew Anich Lugose , Julius Kutoyi Munial, Rashid Amir Amran, Ali Athuman Dumbo, Michael Wanga Oduori and Hemed Zula Mwandilo.

The ill-fated vessel is owned by the South Korean based Yu Shin Fishery Company Limited.

Mwangura further said that the owner of the vessel, Song Jin Ho alias Louis, is a close business associate of the owner of the Taiwanese fishing vessel Tai Yuan 227 that abandoned six Kenyan and two Chinese sailors for ten months in Colombo last year.

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