Cock­roach-in­fested trawler de­tained

Irish Examiner - - News - Stephen Rogers

A per­sis­tent and wide­spread cock­roach in­fes­ta­tion, poor liv­ing con­di­tions, and is­sues with crew en­ti­tle­ments are al­leged to be among the prob­lems dis­cov­ered on a fish­ing ves­sel de­tained in West Cork.

The Bri­tish-reg­is­tered ves­sel is mainly crewed by In­done­sian fish­er­man. It was towed into Castle­town­bere af­ter it “broke down” last Wed­nes­day, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal har­bour­mas­ter Cor­mac McGin­ley.

The trawler was sub­jected to an in­spec­tion by the Marine Sur­vey Of­fice which de­cided to de­tain the ves­sel in the Beara penin­sula port last Fri­day.

A num­ber of is­sues are un­der­stood to have been de­tected on­board, par­tic­u­larly around the con­di­tions for, and en­ti­tle­ments of, crew mem­bers.

Pest con­trol teams spent two days on­board at­tempt­ing to deal with the per­sis­tent cock­roach in­fes­ta­tion which is be­lieved to be ev­i­dent in large parts of the ship. The crew re­mained on­board, as of yes­ter­day, in the depart­ment of marine-run state fish­ery har­bour.

While the Marine Sur­vey Of­fice would not de­tail the ex­act rea­sons for the de­ten­tion, a spokesman did is­sue a state­ment, stat­ing “the fol­low-up ac­tion is for the owner and the UK as the flag state for the ves­sel to rec­tify and en­sure the rec­ti­fi­ca­tion of the de­fi­cien­cies”.

“When it is rec­ti­fied we will then re-in­spect the ves­sel,” he added.

Pat Dolby, head of the in­spec­tions with the Bri­tish Mar­itime and Coast­guard Agency, said it was aware of the is­sues which had been iden­ti­fied by Ir­ish au­thor­i­ties and hoped to have one of its of­fi­cials on lo­ca­tion as soon as pos­si­ble to ex­am­ine the is­sues raised.

The In­done­sian em­bassy has also been no­ti­fied of an is­sue with the ves­sel, on which its na­tion­als are work­ing. Ken Flem­ing of the In­ter­na­tional Trans­port Work­ers Fed­er­a­tion (ITF) ques­tioned why his or­gan­i­sa­tion had not been con­tacted about the is­sues with the ves­sel.

“The fact that the ves­sel is there since last week makes it clear that, de­spite all of the com­ments from peo­ple in the in­dus­try and how con­cerned they are, no con­tact has been made with the ITF from any gov­ern­ment depart­ment,” said Mr Flem­ing.

“This at­ti­tude of ex­clud­ing worker rep­re­sen­ta­tive bod­ies is the bedrock and cause of the con­tin­ued abuse of mi­grant work­ers within the fish­ing in­dus­try.

“The very fact that the state agen­cies have not made ar­range­ments for al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion rather than leave the crew in such con­di­tions is an in­dict­ment of those agen­cies.”

The fish­ing ves­sel was in­fested with cock­roaches, which pest con­trol teams spent two days ad­dress­ing.

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