Update for ship stuck off China after sailing from Hay Point
A cargo ship that had been stuck off China’s coast for months has been allowed to sail to Japan for a crew change, avoiding a “humanitarian crisis”.
Bulk carrier Anastasia sailed from the Port of Hay Point on July 19, carrying about 90,000 tonnes of Australian coal.
Dozens of coal ships have been stuck off the coast of China in recent months amid a trade dispute, which has created uncertainty over whether cargo merchants could deliver coal to buyers in China.
Following months of repeated appeals from MSC Mediterranean Ship Company to allow a crew change, the company released a statement saying Anastasia’s crew would disembark on February 10 in Japan.
“MSC has effectively resolved the matter, avoided a humanitarian crisis on-board and mitigated the related safety risks,” it said.
“(It) believes that those in control in similar situations should work to prioritise the wellbeing of seafarers and their families above commercial interests, as human suffering and lives are at stake.”
As a result of the action, the company said 18 seafarers, mostly of Indian nationality, would disembark the carrier on Wednesday and undergo thorough medical examinations before being repatriated by MSC to reunite with their families as soon as possible.
“The priority now is to get them home,” it said.
“However, they will continue to be subject to applicable COVID-19 precautions as required by authorities in Japan and in their home countries.”