You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Stranded ship crew off Qld low on food

AAP logoAAP 30/08/2016

Chinese workers on a coal ship detained off Queensland are again running out of food and must be allowed ashore, a union says.

The International Transport Workers Federation says 20 Chinese nationals have now spent six weeks stranded aboard the foreign-owned Five Stars Fujian.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) detained the ship, which is laden with Australian coal, off Gladstone for labour breaches including a lack of food supplies and unpaid wages.

One emergency food drop has been made but ITF assistant co-ordinator Matt Purcell says supplies are dwindling and the crew is in a very difficult situation.

"Welfare agencies have so far been denied access and there is no end in sight for these unfortunate souls," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

"This has gone on for long enough. It's time these seafarers are allowed to come onto dry land for humanitarian shore leave."

Mr Purcell said the owners of the ship had failed to respond to Australian authorities who'd been in touch about the crew's treatment.

He said that even when they were being paid, they'd received barely $2 an hour, which was well below international standards.

AAP has sought an update from AMSA.

AMSA later said there'd been some positive developments over the past 48 hours.

"The ship's charterers have indicated they will resolve the matter of outstanding wages and fuel resupply, and AMSA has been in contact will all parties concerned to ensure that the actions required for the lifting of the detention are clearly understood," the authority said on Tuesday.

AMSA could not say how long those matters would take to resolve, but inspectors will again visit the ship before it's allowed to depart.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon