Seafarers stranded in Malindi after Korean employer goes missing

Written By: KNA

deep sea fishing
Malindi is popular for deep sea fishing (File)

15 seafarers are stranded in Malindi after their Korean employer, the vessel captain and engineer abandoned them.

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The seafarers, who work in a crab-fishing vessel christened Ahadi 001, claimed that their employer Yang Xian together with the two others disappeared on Monday after the vessel docked at the Malindi Jetty and their efforts to contact them had hit a snag.

They claimed that they were in distress because they had not been paid for three months, with accumulative salary arrears amounting to more than Sh1.9 million.

They were rescued by the chairman of the Shella Beach Management Unit, Mr. Yunus Aboud, and taken to the Malindi Police Station, where they recorded statements on the incident.

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Mr. Kennedy Otieno, one of the seafarers, said Mr. Xian abandoned them on Monday and efforts to contact him on phone had been futile despite the fact that they know him to be living in Malindi town.

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“We are appealing to the government to intervene and bring these people to book because we have been left without food and other necessities since our employer owes us more than Sh1.9 million in salaries that he has not paid us for the last three months,” said Mr. Kennedy Otieno.

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Mr. Otieno called on Kenya Fisheries Service (KFS) and the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) to ensure that foreigners wishing to fish in Kenya provide adequate information about themselves before being licenced to operate in Kenya.

“They should be made to sign proper contracts with their employees and provide guarantees so that they can be held accountable in cases such as this,” he told journalists at the Malindi Jetty.

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His colleague, Mr. Ezekiel Odhiambo said had run out of supplies and pleaded with the authorities to help search their employer and his accomplices.

Mr. Mwaega Wato Kombo said the vessel should be seized and all items aboard sold and the monies raised used to pay their salaries.

The Chairman of the Shella Beach Management Unit accused Chinese and Korean vessel owners of destroyed the fishing gear of local fishermen and urged the government to ensure the culprits are forced to compensate for the losses incurred.

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