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24 abandoned seafarers repatriated after three-month ordeal

Photo: Stella Maris Sultan Bey crew home 1.jpg
Some 24 seafarers abandoned on two vessels in the port of Ravenna, Italy, in July have been repatriated with the help of charity Stella Maris.

The seafarers were on board the chemical tanker Gobustan detained on 8 July for non-payment of bunker supplies and the general cargo vessel Sultan Bey detained on 16 July due to outstanding debts from the shipowner. Both vessels were Maltese-flag.

Stella Maris and the Ravenna’s Seafarers' Welfare Committee stepped in to support the stranded crew members, working together with local organisations to ensure that food, supplies and fresh drinking water was available to the seafarers.

The crew of the Gobustan were repatriated on 3 and 4 October while the Sultan Bey crew went home on 23 and 24 October in complex operations due to Covid-19 related traffic bans and travel restrictions, as well the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

“This complex job, which led to excellent results and brought us at the side of these seafarers all the time, has been possible thanks to the support of many people involved, who got busy to answer our cry for help right away; thanks to the good spirit of cooperation between companies and institutions typical of our port and thanks to our ability to come together as a team in face of humanitarian emergencies,” said Carlo Cordone, president of Ravenna’s Seafarers' Welfare Committee.