Seahome Sapphiare, a boat with a crew of 13 Vietnamese and six others, has been held in Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, for three months due to financial problems.
A beach in Maldives
Le Van Gioi, one of the Vietnamese sailors on the boat, sent a message to Tuoi Tre yesterday to ask for help, since the crew has run out of money, food and drinking water.
Due to payment problems, the local authorities neither allow the crew members to disembark nor permit the boat to leave, Gioi said.
Seahome Sapphiare is owned and operated by Gia Hai Shipping Co., Ltd., located in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.
The company has not paid salary to the crew since January 2011, Gioi said.
Tuoi Tre immediately contacted Vu Quang, Gia Hai director, who said the money transfer to the crew was late due to some unexpected problems.
He admitted that the company has fallen 4 months behind salary payment to the crew.
The company said they would pay the crew one month’s salary first and another month’s payment when the ship arrives in another port.
The one-month salary and another sum, which is for food and drinks, would reach them by next Monday, June 13, Quang said.
When the boat returns to Vietnam, the company will pay all the salary arrears to the crew, he said.
Quang also said he would work with the Maldives authorities to obtain permission for the boat to leave.
Meanwhile, the Myanmar captain of the boat warned that he would not continue his duty unless the company pays him all the salary it owes him.