Inspections start on ship conditions in Newcastle

Following the death of a seafarer in Newcastle, ships visiting the port this week will be inspected to ensure their safety.

International Transport Workers Federation Inspectors boarded a coal vessel at Kooragang Island yesterday, launching the week-long campaign to investigate ships flying “flags of convenience.”

Dedicating the inquiry to Hector Collado, a 55 year old who died on the Sage Sagittarius, national coordinator Dean Summers said flag of convenience ships often escaped regulations protecting seafarer’ safety rights, leaving them at risk, the Newcastle Herald reported.

‘‘We are boarding ships to protect the welfare, safety and dignity of international seafarers and we will be reporting to Australian authorities any abuse of rights or safety issues,’’ Summers said.

‘We’re going to try and inspect every ship in the port this week and take a sounding of the conditions for seafarers.’’

Newcastle Port Corporation said it would work closely with the body to help aid inspections and deal with any breaches found.

‘I would like to think Newcastle is viewed as a safe and welcoming port for seafarers,’’ chief executive Gary Webb said.

‘‘We look forward to providing any assistance we may in addressing any issues that are found.’’

Image: SMH

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