SHIPPING

Goundar Shipping Sacks 15 Crew Members In A Single Week For Being Allegedly Drunk, High While On Duty

‘To fire that many people in one week is our loss. When we fire them then other shipping companies hire them.’
20 Nov 2019 13:17
Goundar Shipping Sacks 15 Crew Members In A Single Week For Being Allegedly Drunk, High While On Duty
A ship from the Goundar Shipping Limited fleet.

Goundar Shipping Limited sacked 15 crew members after they were caught drinking alcohol and suspected of smoking marijuana last week while on duty.

GSL managing director George Goundar said the incident took place on board one of his vessels while it was embarked at the Ellington Jetty in Rakiraki.

“The problem we’re facing now is a shortage of crew members. The issue we are facing with the crew include drinking, stealing and alleged marijuana smoking onboard the vessels,” Mr Goundar said.

“It is a challenge especially when women crew members also join the drinking sessions and alleged illegal smoking onboard,” he said.

“They (women) should stop and look after themselves. If something happens to them then the name of the company goes down the drain.

Meanwhile, Mr Goundar hopes the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) will have a system in place to screen seafarers before they are hired by other shipping companies.

“We have written to MSAF in regards to this issue, with the hope that a system is in place to record all these happenings.

“Because there is no recording system, those who we have just fired are able to find employment in other shipping companies, placing passengers at risk.

“We are also calling on the Police to carry out raids on our vessels for suspected drug trafficking.

“No inter-island vessel should be spared, there should be spot checks.”

“MSAF should come in hard and they do something like suspending and or revoking the license of seafarers caught drinking and or in possession of illegal drugs while on the roster to work onboard a vessel.

“We have a bad reputation of Fijian seafarers abroad drinking while on duty; this needs to stop.

“To fire that many people in one week is our loss. When we fire them then other shipping companies hire them.

“There should be a system that lists names of offending seafarers and their records.

“So before another company hires new staff; they can check the MSAF list to see for themselves the type of people they are hiring.

“It is about time MSAF has a system like this.”

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