Wednesday, March 23, 2011

TRISTAN UPDATE

South African tug Amandla

At the risk of disturbing the privacy of the Tristan Islanders NAUTICAL LOG is turning to their website for the "Latest News" of the MS Oliva crew. They are the only source of news about the 22 crewmembers of the vessel. The Greek Master and his 21 Filipino crewmembers are now all ashore on Tristan da Cunha Island. The Master had remained on board the MV Edinburgh for several days it is reported by Ms. Geraldine Repetto. the South African tug Amandla is now at the Islands and assisting in clean-up and other duties as needed.

There are no hotels in the Tristan Island Group and the Islanders have accommodated the crewmembers in guest houses and private homes. Readers will appreciate that these Islanders are living in one of the most remote places on Earth. Their view of non-islanders is somewhat reserved, to visit one must obtain a Police Certificate, the prior approval of the Island Administrator are amongst the formalities for visiting the Islands. These are fully described in the Island Group website. So it must be quite disturbing to have these 22 foreign nationals land in from the sea, particularly when it was the result of an act of grossly careless navigation. As the Islanders describe it themselves:

"The crew were given clothes and they are privileged to be living in the family-orientated safe community which is the most remote in the world."

It must be an extraordinarily awkward situation for the Master and the Bridge Watch on duty when the vessel struck Spinner Point, Nightingale Island and the Chief Islander Ian Lavarello and Administrator Sean Burns. In fairness one can sympathize with all parties concerned and perhaps this was the reason for the choice of the word "privileged" in the statement. The full reports may be read at the Tristan da Cunha website under "Latest News" via the NAUTICAL LOG link in our 'Link List'.

Let us hope that the vessels Greek owners fully realise their responsibilities to both the Islanders as well as the crewmembers. They must immediately arrange compensation and supplies to the Chief Islander who now has 22 extra persons to feed on always controlled rations.
Good Watch

Please remember the 800 seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work to free them.

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