15 crew abandoned on tanker in Manila Bay
With batteries running low on their mobile phones, the crew who are trapped 13 nautical miles out at sea have been making calls for urgent assistance as the vessel is running dangerously low on fuel and diesel oil and the food, fresh water and medicines that the seafarers need to survive.
“We are strong people, but we are exhausted and now bad weather and no option to do anything if (the) vessel drag(s) the anchor,” Pedro texted the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) on Sunday, 10 May. “I hope Monday could be finished this and next week could be able to berth. Under the present condition is very dangerous our situation. We will survive until Monday.”
In an earlier email one crew member wrote to the ITF asking when they could get fresh food on board. “We are eating something that three months ago we would have never thought we would have to eat,” she texted.
“Since February 21, when I was first informed of the case, there have been thousands of WhatsApp messages,” said Luz Baz, ITF Coordinator, Spain. “I’m in touch with them daily. But now the ship is in total blackout.”
Crew have been sleeping on deck as there is no air conditioning, but storms on Sunday night forced the seafarers to take shelter in the dark below deck, she said. ■