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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A blacklist of defaulting owners and shipmanagement agencies is the need of the day

Here's a report which should interest most seafarers, who face such issues on a regular basis, I wonder if DG Shipping has done anything about it so far?

Rs 1.5 cr compensation awarded to ex-merchant navy officer

TNN Dec 9, 2010, 05.04am IST
    PUNE: Deepak Divekar, a former merchant navy officer, has been awarded compensation of Rs 1.56 crore by the Arbitral Tribunal of Justice S C Pratap, following a judgment in his favour on Oct 30, 2010 vis a vis his former employer, Kuwaiti shipping company United Arab Shipping Company and its shipping agent Killick Marine Services Ltd.

    The company had allegedly blacklisted him following allegations of drunken misbehaviour, unprofessionalism and causing communal disquiet while on board. Divekar said he intends using the money to set up a trust fund to provide legal aid for similarly-affected sailors who remain unemployed after a shipping company blacklists them.
    Addressing a news conference here on Friday, Divekar, who was subsequently forced' to quit his shipping career for lack of employment, said that the allegations of unprofessionalism came after he opposed the decision of his captain to purchase 100 MT of non-potable water while on board M V IBN Abdoun at Statia terminal in the vicinity of the Caribbean islands in 2000. "The water was unfit for human consumption, as was subsequently proved by the fact that two other officers, apart from myself, as well as crew members like the bosun and fitter suffered from severe stomach problems," he said. Repatriation at the next port (which was in Russia) was not possible.

    The vessel arrived in India on Sept 27, 2000, said Divekar. "Though I requested the shipping agent, Killick Marine Services Ltd, for help, I was refused it. I had no option but to seek medical help on my own, despite the terms of the contract that if an officer is signed off on medical grounds, it is the duty of the ship owner - in this case, the United Arab Shipping Company - to reimburse the amount."

    Following this episode, Divekar says he could not get a job with any company, as the company charged him with drunken misbehavior, unprofessionalism and causing communal disquiet while on board. "The mental grief this caused my family was immense. I was also at a wit's end with regard to fulfilling my responsibilities towards my ailing parents, sick wife and young son," he said. "To earn a living, I was subsequently forced to cash in on my resemblance to Pakistani general Pervez Musharraf. This bagged me some acting roles, but this is not what I am trained for."

    The arbitration between the company and its agent as respondents, and Divekar as claimant lasted eight years. "In a decade, I have aged 25 years. There's no question of a career at sea for me, any more. However, I hope this trust fund will help hapless sailors like myself who face the wrath of a powerful employer without adequate defence for want of funds," he said.

    1 comment:

    1. good all these types of companies should taught a lesson indeed, and the senior officer's highheaddness,