Crew and derelict ship abandoned in Argentia

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Josh Pennell
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Man says ship is cold, food is low and some crew members sick

The crew members of the Navi Wind are not in good shape, and neither is their vessel.

The Navi Wind in St. John’s harbour Oct. 21. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegarm

That’s according to Gerard Bradbury of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), who’s looking after the welfare of the crew stuck in Argentia. The ship was in port in St. John’s from early 2012 until recently under the name of the Lady Remington III. It has since been renamed the Navi Wind.

According to Bradbury, the ship was recently cleared by Transport Canada to sail. It sailed to Argentia to pick up some scrap metal and then hit the open ocean destined for Turkey. A couple of days out the crew hit a violent storm that blew out the ship’s power and injured several of the crew.

The Navi Wind was towed back to port in Argentia and is now under detention by Transport Canada for more than 25 violations.

“The crew are in bad shape. They have no heat in the cabins. They have probably about a three-days supply of food left. I was there yesterday and they had no drinking water,” Bradbury said.

Crew members are also owed more than $70,000 in wages.

If any of this story is setting a recent memory adrift, there’s good reason for that. The Lyubov Orlova was tied to the wharf for years in

St. John’s after its crew was abandoned by the ship’s owners.

The story of that ship is long and winding, but ends with the empty ship disappearing into the North Atlantic after a cable broke during a tow operation. It was destined for a scrap yard, but is now thought to be on the ocean floor.

Bradbury said that some of the violations the Navi Wind is being held in port for include hull damage and a cargo latch that won’t close. He describes the ship as being in horrible condition.

Why it was allowed to leave port in the first place is uncertain. Transport Canada was contacted but have yet to respond to The Telegram’s questions.

Bradbury said the scrap metal on board is worth about $900,000. They’re trying to get a lien put on the ship or get some conclusion from the owner.

“This guy was just hoping to get his cargo to Turkey and receive payment and just wanted the crew to work for nothing,” Bradbury said.

Bradbury said his job right now is to take care of the crew. Two or three of them he describes as being very sick, but he wasn’t able to comment on the nature or extent of their illness.

Check www.thetelegram.com for updates on this story.

 

josh.pennell@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Transport Canada, International Transport Workers, ITF

Geographic location: Argentia, Turkey, North Atlantic

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