By PHILIP MWAKIO
An Algerian-owned bulk carrier ship MV Blida has been abandoned by its owners in Mombasa.
The sailors are stranded after losing contact with the ship’s owner.
The ship, which was hijacked by Somali pirates and held in captivity for eleven months, is now moored mid-stream at the Port of Mombasa after it discharged its cargo.
The pirates damaged it extensively and now its owner appears disinterested in it after it offloaded the cargo and left the berth about six months ago.
The crew has not been paid for over eight months and is demanding an accumulated $150,000 (Sh12.6 million) in salaries and allowances.
Seafarers Union of Kenya Secretary General Andrew Mwangura said on Sunday that among the abandoned crew are ten Ukrainian nationals and three Kenyans.
Mwangura said the Kenyans have left for their homes. They have been named as Geofrey Gashomba, who worked as chief engineer, Mohamed Salim (second engineer) and Hamza Omar, a cook.
Mwangura said the ship, which had been chartered by a Jordanian firm, was transporting 19,000 metric tonnes of clinker to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, when it was hijacked.
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