Georgian sailors in Africa now have food and water

Georgian sailor stuck in Africa. Photos released by Georgian broadcaster Rustavi 2, 16 Jan 2015 - 16:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian sailors working on ships in Africa have received food and water after earlier claiming they had no access to basic needs, Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says. 

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have released information about 23 Georgian sailors stuck in Africa working in sub-standard conditions with no drinking water and food, and are urging local authorities to help.

The Georgian Consulate in the Hellenic Republic in Greece have held a phone conversation with representative of Greek shipping company Western Mediterranean Shipping S.A, who own numerous ships Georgian sailors were working on. The Georgian sailors earlier claimed they had not been paid and did not have access to food or water. 

The Ministry said the Greek side said three ships from five have already been supplied with food and water and the remaining two ships will be provided with basic needs during the day.

The Foreign Ministry also announced that the company had promised to solve financial problems by the end of January - after this point the company will provide seamen with salaries had to pay and gradually  return them to their homeland.

Earlier the Sea Transport Agency informed Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sailors’ Professional Unions about the poor conditions the Georgian sailors in Africa, at Cotonou Seaport, were working in.

The Agency said it had been contacted by several Georgian sailors on board one of the ships stopped at the Cotonou Port, Benin, who told them they had no drinking water and food.

A statement by the Agency noted it had tried to contact the Greek company, however the latter refused to communicate.

A representative of the Embassy of Georgia in the Republic of South Africa will hold a meeting at the Embassy of Ghana to obtain detailed information about the Georgian citizens involved.