7 Dec 2012
Superyacht 'Cacique' detained because of unpaid crew wages
By William Mathieson | Other articles by this author
According to a report on La Spezia-focused newswire Cronaca4, the 40m superyacht Cacique has been detained on the order of local judge Dr Giampiero Panic under the auspices of the ‘International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for the arrest of seagoing ships’. The detention was called for following claims by the yacht’s crew that the holding company had failed to pay them, with an additional loss of potential earnings.
SuperyachtNews.com confirmed with the local port – Porto Lotti – that the superyacht had indeed been detained. A representative for Porto Lotti said that the local Coast Guard had undertaken a seizure, and that Cacique was being held at the port on the basis of a court order, but was unable to reveal further details of its circumstances.
But Sabina Prandi, the legal representative for the captain and stewardess who are claiming unpaid wages (another crewmember – the chief engineer - is undertaking the same claim, but with different representation), was more forthcoming about the current situation.
Prandi asserts that, when the vessel was purchased in September 2012 by a Caribbean-based holding company the crew undertook a month of unpaid work, based on the promise of contracts materialising in the future. During this period the crew were offered contracts aboard other superyachts, which they declined based on the promise of a contract to work on board Cacique.
So, on this basis, Prandi says the claim is for “sums of money for the month that the crew were on board without being paid, and additional compensation for loss of work.” “They have probably lost between three to six months of work, as now it is too late for this winter”, she explained.
With the vessel detained Prandi says the holding company effectively has two options: to pay the sum her clients are demanding or to pay the court a fixed sum so that it revokes the detention order. However, it appears neither eventuality appears likely. “They don’t want to pay and it is looking very unlikely they will,” Prandi predicted. “So it does not look like the yacht will go free.”
Unfortunately it appears this dispute is set to continue, with the likely outcome disillusioned yacht crew and a disgruntled beneficial owner who is unable to enjoy his newly purchased vessel. In Prandi’s view, “It will take about two years for this process to [reach a conclusion], and if they do not pay the yacht will not be released for this two year period.”
For Geoff Moore, general manager at Royale Oceanic's yacht management division, this case is indicative of the need for the incoming Maritime Labour Convention, and the protection it guarantees for seafarers finding themselves in similar scenarios.
"The contracts the crew had under their former employers should have been met and closed when the yacht was sold to the holding company," Moore explained.
"I think this leads onto the MLC and [demonstrates] how the situation would be different if we were to fast track a year into the future and a similar yacht was arrested. The seafarers will be well protected with approved Seafarer Employment Agreements that are approved by the flag state. The 'shipowner' - who will often be the management company, as they can be accountable - will have to ensure the crew are financially secure, salaries are paid and they are repatriated. The law will ensure that, even if the beneficial owner is bankrupt or similar, seafarers will be looked after as the shipowner must have adequate insurance in place to be able to settle these issues."
N.B. The vessel in question is not First Draw (formerly Cacique), as previously reported.
Royale Oceanic Profile | Royale Oceanic Website
Add a comment
Other Business News
Sunseeker has announced that, after five years of service and having led the business through successive periods of ownership, Stewart McIntyre has confirmed his decision to step down as managing director and will leave the Sunseeker Group at the en More
Since its origin in 1984, MYBA has adopted an increasingly influential role in the superyacht industry. But many owners still seem to be unaware of what the association does, or even its significance. In an attempt to rectify this, and find out why More
Pantaenius UK has unveiled its new-look superyacht team, which will be based at its Plymouth office. More
The US Virgin Islands' police department has reported 11 fatal shootings in St Thomas already in 2014. SuperyachtNews.com speaks to specialists in superyacht security, and those with knowledge of the area, to discuss whether the recent events pose a t More
Superyacht Intelligence Data
Tenders and Toys
ASEA POWER SYSTEMS
ASEA POWER SYSTEMS is the Marine Industry Leader for Shore Power Conversion equipment ranging in power from 8kVA - 1000kVa.
Evac designs, manufactures and markets environmentally friendly vacuum toilet and wastewater treatment systems for the yacht and shipbuilding industry. With the latest advanced technical innovations we provide quality, reliability and design.
Professional Integrated Navigation Systems based on cutting-edge technology and decades of experience. Ultimate knowledge and flexibility in system integration. Dedicated customer care throughout the whole project and beyond. Raytheon Anschutz your partner for individual bridge system solutions.
Reckmann Yacht Equipment GmbH
Reckmann Yacht Equipment GmbH is a specialist company for reefing systems, masts and hydraulics and will celebrate the 120th anniversary in 2012. Today, the company is one of the leading producers and traders of headsail reefing equipment and is a synonym for quality, continuity and innovation.
Jets Vacuum AS
Jets Vacuum has for over 25 years been the leading innovator in vacuum sanitation technology. With over 9000 Jets systems in operation on all types of ships, Jets are known for high quality, flexible cost efficient solutions backed up by first class word wide service