Shipping & Shipbuilding News - 22 February 2007
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Merchant Brilliant: Case closed – for now

News at 10:30 GMT today.

 The crew of the Merchant Brilliant are on their way home. Most were put on a flight to Russia via Heathrow at 07:00 today, and one is awaiting a 14:00 flight.

Ken Fleming, one of the two ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) inspectors who accompanied the crew during the arduous four day stand off with the ship owners, explained: “This case is over, the crew are safe and homeward bound. Now we get ready for the next one.”

The owners of the ship have flown in a new Russian crew and it remains to be seen what future routes it will be taking. The charterer, Norfolkline, has disassociated itself from the owners, who just two months ago were forced by the Irish High Court to pay the crew of the Merchant Brilliant’s sister ship, the Merchant Bravery, US$159,862 in owed wages. In that case the ITF also assisted the crew.

The ITF will continue to keep both ships under observation.


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