Abandoned Vietnamese seafarers finally home with ITWF union support
The case of the 12 seafarers onboard the Viet Tin 01 came to the attention of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and its local affiliate, the National Union of Seafarers Peninsular Malaysia (NUSPM), in June.
NUSPM Executive Secretary Ikmal Azam Thanaraj Abdullah said that the ship had been abandoned by its Vietnamese owner, leaving the crew stranded off the coast of Malaysia without food, water or fuel.
“The lack of fuel alone left the crew without cooling in the soaring daytime heat, and without critical navigational lights during the nights,” said Ikmal Azam Thanaraj Abdullah.
Ikmal Azam Thanaraj Abdullah said that when the NUSPM heard of the crew’s plight began providing food and fresh water, and there was a contribution from the Vietnamese embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
“The crew were in a terrible state. They were thirsty, hungry, and in great risk of being hurt or drowned if another vessel collided with them while they slept due to the lack of lighting onboard. This was an accident waiting to happen for the stricken crew on board.” ■