On the MV Angelic Power: A LITTLE MORE AND ITS HOME
Magsaysay Maritime (MMC) updates June 18th that Chinese crew shall board the MV Angelic Power to familiarize themselves with its operation. MMC understands “once the Chinese crew can safely operate the vessel, the court-appointed custodian will arrange for the repatriation of Filipino and Greek crew members” on board.
This is the latest on the MV Angelic Power, a Greek-flagged bulk carrier currently moored at Port Guisan, South China. Of the 22 crew onboard are 8 Greek sailors and 1 Greek technical inspector; 13 are possibly Filipino nationals deployed by the giant MMC.
The Maritime Court of the People Republic of China (PCR) has imposed a ban on lifting anchor as the Greek Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy (MSIP) have already initiated the procedures of administrative and criminal sanctions against the ship management company for non-compliance with the continuous written instructions and orders and non-execution of the due acts for the disembarkation of the crew.
The Panhellenic Association of Merchant Marine Sailors (PENEN) issued a separate statement the health of the sailors on board the Greek-flagged MV Angelic Power is “in an extremely critical condition” trapped over 17 months and going.
Doing the doable.
MMC wants nothing less than the crew’s immediate repatriation and the prompt payment of what is owed them. It is coordinating with its principal and the ship managers to make this happen at the soonest time.
However, MMC admits this is easier said than done because of legal and regulatory considerations. The ship and its owners are currently embroiled in legal proceedings affecting not only their interests.
Contrary to PENEN’s stand, MMC believes the crew as “well”. It also understands that the Chinese court might even require the crew to participate and be heard in these proceedings in some way before they can be sent home.
The need to comply with minimum safe manning requirements on the ship is another matter that must be accounted for, as leaving the ship without sufficient crew could have disastrous consequences to those on and around it.
PENEN reports that after repeated telephone communications with the specific ship, "five members of the crew are in urgent need (including the captain) of medical care".
It also emphasizes that "the psychological condition of many sailors has deteriorated dramatically since some of them are trapped in the ship for up to 17 months while the supply and fuel of the ship have begun to run out”.
"The rivalry and financial disputes between the ship's management companies have made the ship's sailors victims and hostages… putting their health in immediate danger” while their rights are undermined.
Greek Minister of Shipping Giannis Plakiotakis stated "the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy is constantly monitoring developments already moved at the diplomatic level. He assures to intervene in every direction, aiming at the return of sailors.
MSIP publicly logs:
- Informing the consular authorities of our country in China, to provide all possible assistance and ensure continuous communication with the crew members.
- The move of the Shanghai Maritime Attaché in the anchorage area of the ship from 5.3.2021, to provide any possible assistance to the work of the Greek consular authority there and its personal intervention in the competent Chinese authorities
- Sent four diplomatic missions to authorities of the PRC requesting the immediate provision of medical assistance to seafarers on land, exploring alternatives for disembarkation, returning travel documents, as well as the movement of the ship to a safe place within the port.
The Ministry keeps constant communications with the Crisis Management Team of the Intl. Maritime Organization (IMO), an agency of the United Nations.