Pinoy seafarers stranded for months on Delaware River

By ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Aug 09 2014 10:04 AM | Updated as of Aug 09 2014 07:39 PM

REDWOOD CITY, California – A cargo ship carrying 18 Filipino seamen has been stuck in the Delaware River in Philadelphia for almost three months and it may stay there until its Greek owner foots the bill for repairs.

According to reports it will cost the Greek company Derna Shipping $1.2 million in repairs before the Nikol H can sail out of the Delaware River. Derna reportedly hasn’t paid its bills for Nikol H since April. reports the original crew that includes an Egyptian captain, one Ukrainian and 18 Filipino seamen all have expired visas and can’t go ashore for shopping or recreation.

Several members with expired contracts, however, received paroles from U.S. Customs to go home.

Balitang America is still waiting for an official statement from the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. on the matter.

Meanwhile, a mariners’ service agency called the Seamen’s Church Institute has provided the crew with cell phones, WiFi units, and pastoral services, according to the institute’s Facebook page.

The Nikol H’s trouble began in April when the coast guard ordered the ship not to sail citing operational deficiencies.

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