Crew on gas tanker seek help after 13 months at sea

Crew on gas tanker seek help after 13 months at sea

Fifteen of the 18 crewmen on the gas tanker Schumi 7. Five of them requested help from  the Thai navy getting ashore. One said he had been at sea for 13 months without a shore break. (Photo: Royal Thai Navy)
Fifteen of the 18 crewmen on the gas tanker Schumi 7. Five of them requested help from the Thai navy getting ashore. One said he had been at sea for 13 months without a shore break. (Photo: Royal Thai Navy)

PHUKET: Five crewmen of a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker were brought ashore by the navy and labour officials after one of them requested help, saying he had been 13 months at sea without shore leave.

Details were announced by the 3rd Naval Area on Wednesday morning.

It had received a report from Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre Area 3 about 5.30pm on Monday that it had been contacted by Noppadol Boonmee, a crewman onboard the Schumi 7 LPG tanker, asking for help. He wanted to be brought ashore from the vessel.

Mr Boonmee said he had entered a 9-month contract with the company to work as crew on  the tanker, but he had not been allowed to go ashore at any port for over 13 months. He and some other crewmen wanted help.

According to the Phuket centre of the Vessel Traffic and Management System of the Marine Department, the gas tanker Schumi 7 was in the Thap Lamu deep channel off Phangnga province.

The 3rd Naval Area dispatched HMTS Laem Sing and the patrol boat Tor 229, with labour officials on board, to the spot.  About 8pm on March 7, they found the Schumi 7 about 7 nautical miles west of Thap Lamu channel.

There were 18 crewmen on the tanker. Five of them, including Mr Boonmee, wanted to leave the vessel.

The tanker was then directed to a boat pier at Ao Makham bay in Phuket.

There, officials were examining the employment contracts and related documents. All of the crewmen underwent Covid testing with antigen kits. None were positive for Covid-19.

Schumi 7, an LPG tanker of 4,961 gross tonnes, is registered in Thailand, with Suthichai Duangdara as the captain. It transports LPG to countries in Southeast Asia.

The vessel was en route to Bangladesh, sailing along the west coast of Thailand.

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