A Filipino crewman on a coal ship bound for Australia is feared to have been murdered on the high seas because he had complained about pay and conditions.
The International Transport Federation said the missing crewman might have died aboard the Panama-registered Sage Sagittarius, which is scheduled to dock in Newcastle next Thursday after travelling from Japan.
“It’s been suggested to us that the man met his death through foul play because he was going to come to us with an allegation of poor pay and conditions on the ship,” ITF coordinator Dean Summers said in a statement posted on the Maritime Union of Australia website.
“We don’t know for sure, but that’s what we were told early on.”
The Australian Federal Police said it was investigating an incident which occurred on board a commercial coal vessel which had left Japan.
“The Australian Maritime Safety Authority alerted the AFP to the matter on Sunday, September 2,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.
“As this is an ongoing matter, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”
Mr Summers said the 21-man crew had been “holed up in a cabin fearing for their safety” until the ship’s owners flew in private security guards by helicopter from Brisbane.A search for the missing crewman had been unsuccessful, he said.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.