A ship engaged to carry bauxite from Rio Tinto’s operations on Cape York has been detained by Australian authorities for exposing its crew to “appalling conditions” including food and water shortages.
The Movers 3 is one of two Aswan Shipping carriers under detention in the country for multiple breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention.
The Panama-flagged bulk carrier was inspected last month by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and found to have a defective freezer.
“[That] was resulting in unsafe and insufficient food stores for crew, and dwindling fresh water supplies,” AMSA’s executive director of operations Allan Schwartz said.
He said Aswan Shipping had displayed “continued reluctance” to address food shortages and its health and safety obligations towards crew, prompting Rio Tinto to step in.
Ship’s cook quits
Movers 3 arrived in Weipa, North Queensland, with 22 crew, but the cook requested to be repatriated on arrival and a search is underway for a replacement.
In a statement, Rio Tinto said the ship had been chartered by one of its customers to transport bauxite to China.