Crew beg for food on detained ship

Alexander Tvardovskiy. Credit: Henk Guddee

Cook Islands-flagged Russian general cargo vessel Alexander Tvardovskiy has been reduced to reliance on charitable food donations while arrested in Leith, near Edinburgh.

The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) identified “several deficiencies” on the vessel, owned and managed by Russia’s North Western Shipping, including a lack of International Safety Management (ISM) and International Ship Security Certificates (ISSC) on board, and a serious shortfall in wage payments.

While the ship’s captain Gennadi Kukvinov and another senior officer will likely be paid, the International Transport Workers’ Federation was quoted in local press as saying the status of other crew wages are still unknown.

With nine days apparently having passed since Kukvinov made a plea for supplies, shipping charity Apostleship of the Sea took sustenance on board the vessel. “I sent the request for food on 8 July. So now we’ve only some remainders of food … no fresh fruit, some pieces of meat, some pieces of bread.”

“The detention will remain until the seafarers wages are paid and other identified deficiencies are rectified,” MCA said in a statement.