Appeal To Help Crew Of Stranded Ship

This is the statement from Rye and District Lions Club detailing the situation and asking for donations.

A vessel that arrived at Rye Wharf in early January from a Cornish quarry with a cargo of road-stone found itself arrested by the Admiralty Marshall leaving the crew destitute.  The M.V. 'Torrent', 999 gross tons, built In 1992 is one of seven vessels placed under arrest in various British and European ports leaving the crews without wages and little food.  The ship's owner is reported to have debts in excess of £1million for the costs of fuel and general running of the fleet.

Rye and District Lions Club, which is part of an international organisation, became aware of the plight of the Russian Master and five Ukrainian crew and quickly provided emergency supplies of fish, with the assistance of the Rye Fishing fleet.  Other basic food provisions will be required in the near future.  Captain Moseev said that he and his crew have not been paid any wages since October last year and then only a partial payment was received.  "We are all concerned for our wives and children back home who have not received any money for some time".

It is essential that the ship remains manned by a crew of at least six members to comply with safety and other requirements.

Rye Lions President,  Malcolm McDonough, is concerned that the ship may be under detention for many months whilst the legal and financial issues are negotiated, which means the crew's conditions could worsen.  "Being an island nation, with a long maritime history, we have a special place in our hearts for these  seafarers who have become destitute through no fault of their own".

A special fund has been started by Rye Lions to ensure that the crew are provided with basic food and water together with fuel for heating. Anyone wishing to contribute to the wellbeing of the crew may do so by sending  a cheque, made payable to 'Rye & District Lions Club', to their Treasurer, Reg Emson at 22 New Winchelsea Road, Rye TN31 7TA, marking the envelope 'Stranded Seamen'.

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