Russian Ship Detained By South Korea For Illegally Leaving Busan Port
According to Vladivostok’s Marine Rescue Coordination Center, a Russian ship called “Palladium” was detained by South Korea after it left the port of Busan, South Korea, without permission Monday.
The ship was on its way out of the port of Busan, at 3:40 p.m. EDT Monday, when the vessel was detained by South Korean coast guards. The ship was located in the southern part of the Sea of Japan on the way out of the Korean Strait at the time. The ship, which was carrying 15 crew members, was then towed back to the port of Busan by a patrol ship.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Vladivostok was informed of the situation as it developed.
"We are aware of the situation, but at the moment we are collecting additional information about the incident, we contacted our consulate, sent relevant inquiries to the authorized bodies, clarified all the circumstances," the ministry told Tass.
Five days ago, five members of Palladium, which was docked in Busan’s port, appealed to Far East organization of the Russian Sailors' Union as well as the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Korea to help them return to their country and receive their pending payment from the ship’s owner.
The crew members, having already had their labor contracts expired, faced complications in returning to Russia as well as recovering the due salary owed to them. Taking matters into their hands, the trade union prepared an appeal to the Primorsky Transport Prosecutor's Office in Russia to help the crew return.
"Yesterday there was a representative of the consulate on the ship, he met with the crew, two crew members expressed a desire to repatriate at their own expense,” Far Eastern regional organization of the Russian Sailors' Trade Union Nikolai Sukhanov told Tass.
However, preparations were delayed by Typhoon Soulik which made landfall in South Korea on Aug 23. As a result, all ports were temporarily closed. The ship was again to be visited by a consulate representative, as well as representatives of the International Federation of Transport Workers before a decision on the crew’s departure could be made.
The first complaint from Palladium’s crew members was lodged in June. At the time, eight members of the crew said they had not been paid by their employer for five months’ worth of work. The union appealed to Far Eastern Investigation Department of the Transport Service of the Russian Federation at the time and after an inspection by the International Federation of Transport Workers of the ship, a major chunk of the crew’s pending salary – amounting to 250,000 rubles ($3,706) – was paid to the sailors.
In other news, an undocumented Russian cargo ship, carrying weapons and explosives, was detained by the South African port authorities Sunday while it was sailing off the coast of Port Elizabeth.