By Andy Sambidge
Dubai Maritime City Authority says crew paid, sent home after tanker owner filed for bankruptcy
Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) said on Tuesday it has repatriated 21 crew members of a Korean tanker that was abandoned off the emirate’s coast with no electricity or water when their employer went bankrupt.
The maritime government entity, together with the Dubai Port Police, said in a statement that repatriation was completed last week.
The SAMHO JASPER, which has been renamed GOLDEN LAKE, is now out of Dubai waters, DMCA added.
The crew members, who were from Indonesia and Myanmar, had endured several months without pay and at times with limited supply of water and power, relying on DMCA and the Dubai government to intervene on their behalf with healthcare and logistics support.
DMCA confirmed that two other stranded tankers – SAMHO DREAM and SAMHO CROWN, which are also owned by the same Korean shipping company, are being monitored and remain in a warm lay up status, which means they could be out of action for up to 12 months.
SAMHO Shipping has filed for bankruptcy in Korea and is now emerging from the reorganisation.
SAMHO representatives flew into Dubai last week from Korea to meet with DMCA to discuss how best to reactivate the tankers and resolve all outstanding issues.
DMCA successfully negotiated with the concerned parties to ensure that the crew members were properly compensated for back pay before they were repatriated.
Prior to its bankruptcy, SAMHO Shipping set a new world record for payments to pirates when it was forced to pay out $9.5m in ransom when around 50 Somali pirates – armed with AK47s, 45-caliber pistols, and rocket propelled grenades – boarded the MT Samho Dream and held it hostage in April 2010.