Fishermen leave vessel in protest at working conditions

Castletownbere

More than a dozen crew members of a UK-registered fishing trawler detained in Kerry, earlier this week, walked off the vessel and spent a night in Dingle garda station in protest over working conditions.

Thirteen crew from a Scottish-registered trawler Christian M attended the garda station in search of help over issues regarding living and working conditions on board.

The Marine Survey Office (MSO) confirmed the vessel was detained and that maritime administration in Britain had been made aware of the situation.

A spokesperson for the MSO said they commenced a control inspection on Monday last of the Christian M in Dingle following a complaint made to gardaí regarding living and working conditions on board.

"Serious deficiencies were found by the MSO regarding compliance of the vessel with S.I. No. 709/2003 - European Communities (Workers on Board Sea-Going Fishing Vessels) (Organisation of Working Time) Regulations 2003. These regulations regulate the hours of work and rest of fishers and require records to be kept," the spokesperson said.

"The vessel has been detained by the MSO and the maritime administration in the United Kingdom has been advised of the deficiencies. The United Kingdom as the flag state for the vessel is primarily responsible for ensuring compliance with the relevant statutory requirements. The MSO's inspection is ongoing and the vessel will remain in the port of Dingle until it has been released by the MSO," the statement added.

In 2017, the Christian M was detained in Castletownbere for a number of issues, including a cockroach infestation and crewing issues.

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