A shipping vessel from Malta named Newlead Grandino has been stranded since Sept. 20--yards from the coast of Baltimore harbor-- and since most of the crew is foreign and without visas, they cannot come ashore.
The 18-man crew is in good health, but there is no clear timetable for the ship's departure, Fox 45 Baltimore reports. The ship’s owner, Aeolus Compania Naviera S.A. is reportedly behind payments on its lease, crew and operation dues and there are equipment issues.
“What we need to happen at this point is that the bank that has the lien on this ship needs to come forward and take care of these men, take care of the issues taking place on this vessel,” Barbara Shipley, from the International Trade Workers Union, told the station.
"The men have been reportedly floating in the harbor for over a month after an asphalt delivery," she added. "They’re hungry. They’re tired. They’re dirty. They want to get paid and they want to go home. They want to see their families. Their families are all very concerned. I’ve been told they’re fishing off the side of the vessel.”
Shipley met with the captain Thursday. She said the captain "does not want to abuse the kindness of the people of Baltimore."
In August, Newlead Castellano, another ship, spent nearly four months off the coast of Georgia after U.S. marshals seized the 590-foot ship during a legal dispute between the vessel’s owners and creditors. The ship was eventually able to move.
They have had the occasional visit from the coast guard, and a few supplies from the Seafarers Center.
“I think it’s really important for them to know that somebody cares and that if additional needs develop they can reach out to us and we'll reach out to our supporters and do the best we can,” said Mary Davisson, Baltimore International Seafarers Center.