A total of 19 crew members onboard the Tanzanian-flagged bulk carrier MV AIZDIHAR are abandoned for over 14 months off Bander Abbas, Iran, according to Human Rights at Sea.
British charitable NGO, Human Rights at Sea, has been contacted by the crew, who informed that they have been abandoned since 28 February 2020, but only reported eight months later (on 20 October 2020) to the ILO database.
Speaking with HRAS, 4th Engineer, Sahil Singh who has been onboard since 7 March 2020, explained that the owner had not paid any salary and the crew has repeatedly asked for sign-off but with no success. The seafarers are rapidly running out of food, water, and fuel, and are urgently requesting support.
The crew, comprised of 10 Indian, 2 Syrian, 5 Bangladeshi, and 2 Pakistani seafarers, have contacted various respective state authorities, as well as the ILO, ITF and ISWAN. They have been in contact with the owner, but the case remains unresolved.
The last update to the ILO database by the ITF in early March states that the owners have paid outstanding wages of $USD 197,987 and repatriated 12 crew. However, the remaining crew reports a lack of food, water, provisions and inhumane living conditions, while they are owed 11 months wages.
Levels of diesel are sufficiently low that the generator can only be run for two hours per day, while the crew’s identity and seaman’s documents have reportedly been taken by the shipping agent and not been returned. This action no only deprives them of their individual proof of identity, but also prevents the crew from leaving the vessel and being repatriated.
Reporting to the ILO on 27 February 2021, the Master informed that some of the crew’s close family members died and they could not sign-off. The Indian crew is in contact with the Indian Embassy, while the Master has reportedly written to the embassies of all crew in addition to individual crew complaints to their respective State authorities.
Tanzania is currently black on the Paris MoU PSC performance list.