NEWS

Crew stranded in Argentia receives help from fisheries union

10/22/2014 08:14 EDT | Updated 12/22/2014 05:59 EST
Life aboard a cargo vessel that is stranded in the port of Argentia became a little more bearable for 11 crew members this week following the arrival of a shipment of food.

The 132-metre Jana has been docked in Argentia for about a month. The vessel's engine is in need of repairs, and the company that owns the ship is reported to be in financial trouble.

The crew is a mix of Russian and Ukrainian sailors, and they say have not been paid for four months.

They have been bidding their time by listening to music, watching movies and enjoying the Placentia Bay area, but are very anxious to get paid and return home to their families, said crew member Sergey Orel.

"No pay for all the crew is our main problem," Orel told CBC News on Tuesday.

Supplies of fresh food were beginning to run low on the vessel, but that changed Monday following a shipment of vegetables, bread and eggs, compliment of the fisheries union.

"We have food now, but how long, we don't know," Orel said.

When asked when they may be able to leave, Orel said the crew is trying to be patient.

"We waiting day-by-day for some news about us," he said.

While they wait for answers, Orel said they continue to be impressed by their temporary home.

"You living like in heaven, really," he said. 

A spokesman for the International Transport Workers Federation said earlier this week the crew is owed some $130,000 in back wages.

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