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Sailors await salary, being ignored

By Ernest Petrosyan
Friday, July 27
Six Georgian sailors are still waiting for help on board a vessel in Istanbul. Meanwhile they are accusing the Georgian consulate of inattention. The sailors went to work on the vessel Grand Island eight-months ago, but were abandoned three-months ago without attention and help.

The sailors have addressed international organizations for help but were refused any assistance because the vessel carries no cargo. Sailors are waiting for their salaries, as they were paid for only two-months of work. Now they need money to leave the vessel and return to Georgia.

According to the sailors, they have serious health problems as they have run out of food and water. One of them, Mamuka Kochaladze, claimed that the Georgian consulate refused to be of assistance when they applied.

"It has been eight months already, our six person crew has been staying on the ship. Initially, we worked for 5 months, but for the last 3 months we are parked here. No one pays any attention to us. We called everywhere we could, the Georgian consulate was also among them, but we were refused any assistance and advised to contact the international marine association, who we did call prior but in vain,” said Kochaladze.

According to him, the Georgian sailors are demanding their salaries so they can return to Georgia. It has been five consecutive months and the crew has not been paid, which has become the issue of their protest. Georgian sailors claim that the owner company says nothing about it.

This case again refers to Cruise Company’s [sailor employment agency] Laura Chaduneli, who, according to the sailors, does not help them either. “She sent us here; we tried to contact her as well. However, she has not been helpful either.