Unfortunately, the story is not that unusual. A ship owner in financial trouble and sailors find themselves abandoned on a ship, far from home, with no wages, and running out of food and fuel. This is what has happened to 21 seafarers stranded on the ore/oiler A Whale, a Liberian-flagged ship in the Gulf of Suez. They have been stuck for six months after the vessel suffered a technical breakdown. The ore-oiler, A Whale, is owned by TMT group which last week filed for bankruptcy protection in a court in Houston.
This is not the first time that A Whale is in the news. Just three years ago during the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we posted about A Whale. The ship was brand new and specially modified to skim up to 500,000 barrels of oil-contaminated water a day. A Whale was offered as the world’s largest oil skimmer. A Whale would revolutionize offshore oil skimming, if it had worked, which it didn’t. It didn’t skim oil. Now it is the home for 21 abandoned seafarers owned wages by a bankrupt company, and lacking the basics of food and fuel. Thanks to Phil Leon for passing along the news.