The press kept a pulse on the fate of the dead ship Panos Earth and reported on the decision to sell it by public auction. The auction was ordered by the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday and a provisional sale date of June 20 has been set.
After a meeting on May 2, SAMSA came to the conclusion that the owner had ‘completely abdicated its responsibilty for the vessel and crew.’ Money apparently ran out weeks ago with the result that the repair costs of approximately $1.8 million were not able to be met. Other creditors include Smit Amandla Marine and Smit Marine South Africa who are owed an estimated $3 million for services rendered to the vessel.
The remaining five crew members have also received no pay and have been living in appalling conditions while awaiting the fate of their ship. Court papers revealed that there was no proper sanitation on board, as well as no electricity in the crew’s cabins and very limited food and water.
The money from the sale will be put into a fund and the funds will be allocated to creditors by a court allocated advocate. Alan Gold, the maritime lawyer acting for the crew has said that he will put in a claim for their outstanding wages.
It would appear that a difficult and costly situation has been dealt with in a swift and professional manner and that all parties will eventually get what they deserve. Congratulations to all those involved.