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HKSOA expresses concerns over detention of HK-flaggged ship in Australia

HKSOA expresses concerns over detention of HK-flaggged ship in Australia
Concerns have been raised over the detention of the Hong Kong-flagged capesize bulker Five Stars Fujian which is being held under detention by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) off the port of Gladstone, Australia for breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) relating to lack of provisions and unpaid wages.

Although the ship's owner is reportedly suffering economic difficulties, and is unable to pay the crew or re-provision the ship, the Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA) is extremely concerned about the welfare of the seafarers on the vessel, the association said in a press release.

While recognising that Hong Kong has not yet had ratification of MLC extended to it by China, HKSOA urges the Hong Kong government through the Hong Kong Marine Department to provide all necessary assistance to the seafarers, who have effectively been abandoned by the owner of the ship, including the immediate supply of provisions and fuel, as well as the repatriation of the seafarers to their homes if so requested.

HKSOA managing director Arthur Bowring said: “There might not be a legal obligation for Hong Kong to provide such facilities, but there is an extremely strong moral and ethical obligation to do so.

"These seafarers must not be left abandoned without flag state support, especially from the world’s fourth largest flag state, one that has repeatedly promoted the quality of the ships flying its twin flags," he reiterated.