Govt assisting SA fishermen stranded in Angola

2015-04-08 11:14

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Johannesburg - The South African government on Wednesday was trying to assist a predominantly South African crew of a ship impounded by Angolan authorities for unpaid dock fees, the international relations and co-operation department said.

"The owner has not paid the dock fees, and the vessel has been impounded as a sovereign country is entitled to do. It's unfortunate the crew has been caught up in this, but Angola is applying its own laws," department spokesperson Clayson Monyela said on Wednesday.

"We are trying to assist the crew members, especially the South Africans, in the context of what is permissible by Angolan law."

The Times reported that the fishing vessel, named the Bluegate, was docked at Lobito Bay with the crew consisting of five South Africans, a Kenyan, and a Ghanian.

Living off rainwater

The crew had reportedly been living off rainwater and maize meal for around three weeks, with Olivia Gilbert, the daughter of 68-year-old captain Angus Gilbert, stating that she had been told her father had suffered a mild stroke.

The crew were hired to transport the fishing vessel on March 2, but due to low fuel the ship was forced to dock at Lobito Bay.

While the owner of the ship claimed to have paid the dock fees, no payment was received and the ship was impounded by Angolan authorities.

Read more on:    angola  |  johannesburg  |  maritime  |  west africa

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