20 crew of bulk carrier Sky Star held in Douala, Cameroon, as hostages in commercial dispute
Bulk carrier Sky Star got stuck in Douala, Cameroon, Gulf of Guinea, since Feb 9 13. Ukrainian crew is asking for help, claiming they and the vessel are held in Douala as hostages of some kind of commercial dispute. Regretfully, it’s rather a common accident in ports of West African countries. Vessel was detained under pretext of cargo damage, and in all likelihood, local company, together with authorities, is extorting money from the ship owner. It didn’t justify the owner in delaying crew wages, though. Crew claimed they aren’t paid for months, they all should be replaced with a new crew long time ago, but the ship owner is biding its’ time, trying to minimize losses, actually on crew’s account. Maritime Bulletin received a letter with a plea for help, signed by all 20 crew, including the Captain.