A high court (HC) judge has given instructions to sell off a foreign ship so that the stranded crew members can finally return to their homelands.
Justice Frank Seepersad on Wednesday ordered to sell off Bolivia-flagged BTMax1. The owner was Inter Caribbean Shipping Ltd. Per his order, the crew is to be made a payment of US$ 190,507.16, plus 2.5% interest from 31 March.
September witnessed the arrest and detainment of the ship. But the crew remained unpaid since March and was not even given survival provisions. The BTMax1 is now at the anchorage area outside the Queen’s Wharf in the Port of Spain Harbor.
Per the court’s orders, the proceeds from the sale of the vessel are to be made to a First Citizens Bank US-dollar-denominated account toward the Registrar of the Supreme Court (SC). The money derived from the sale will help pay the crew, including repatriation costs.
The application for payment of wages and the sale of the ship was filed by Asif Hosein Shah and Nyree Alphonso, the crew’s attorneys. As it was not defended, a default judgment was granted.
Approving the sale, Seepersad has reportedly said that the crew encountered unfortunate situations. He spoke of the inhumane way they were treated. He mentioned that it had to be condemned. Seepersad congratulated the attorneys for intervening on behalf of the crew.
When the ship was in TT waters, one of the ship captains, Dalton Young, became severely ill in October. His condition prompted immediate hospitalization at the Port of Spain General Hospital.
In January, attempts were made to repatriate him to Honduras. Efforts were made to secure subsistence, outstanding wages, and recover medical expenditure and vacation dues. However, in June, Young passed away at the hospital. In September, Justice Ricky Rahim eventually ordered the arrest of the vessel.
The ship deckhand, Trevor Bishop, supported applications before the court on behalf of the ship captain, himself, and seven crew members.