COMPENSATION DEAL SNUBS DEAD SEAFARERS ' FAMILIES

Seafarers Assistance Program appeals to the government of Kenya to ensure that families of Kenyan Seafarers who have been maimed or perished several years ago in the high seas are also compensated.

On 18^th October, 2004 owners of the Mauritius flagged MV Salango agreed to pay the owners of MV Acor USD 180,000. 

The agreement was made between Shepstone and Mylie, attorneys of the MV. Salango and Adams and Adams attorneys representing owners of the MV Acor. 

The Kingston registered MV Acor sunk on May 23, 1999, near Capo del Gado off the Mozambican Coast and its owners have been demanding damages amounting to USD 1,263,000 in the High Court of South Africa in Durban. 

The owners of MV Acor were demanding USD 350,000 as value of the vessel, USD 200,000 for loss of three crew members, USD 416,000 as indemnity claim for loss of cargo and USD 224,000 indemnity claim for loss of 20x32 full containers and 20 x 72 empty containers. 

Other demands were USD 30,000 for crew expenses and repatriation USD 6,000 for preparing and repatriating the survivors and the deceased, USD 27,000 for loss of fuel oil, lube oil and hired equipment USD 10,000 as travel costs of plaintiffs agents. 

Those who perished in the collision were MV Acorís Master Capt. David Mugalu (Ugandan). 2^nd Engineer Steven Kibergen (Kenyan) and Chief Engineer Arif Mohamed Mwachatamu (Kenyan) 

Crew of the Acor who survived the tragedy were Jimmy Mwaluwala, Mutua Kingíondu, Mohamed Mwamreka, Julius Mshillah, Eric Mbakile, Zahoro Kalu, David Kipkemboi, Isaack Dambala, Kiswaga Mpanduji and Martin Sarungi. 

The case had delayed as owners of MV Salango insisted that the Master of MV Acor caused the collision through negligence. 

However, it turned out that owners of both ships agreed to settle the matter out of court and compensate MV Acor crew members. 

It was agreed that, owners of the MV Salango will foot 70% of the compensation cost while those of MV Acor will pay 30%. 

Unfairly, the owners of M.V. Acor (Candesca Holdings Limited BVI) and owners of Salango have offered to settle all the claims of the former crew of the Mv. Acor and their dependants for the sum of USD 50,00 including interest and cost. 

The sum of USD 50,000 represents USD 40,000 for the dependants of two (2) crewmembers that lost their lives (USD 20,000 x 2) 

Strangely they say that the third deceased crewmember (Steve Kiberigen) did not have any dependants and that any claim by his dependants is null and void. 

The remaining USD 10,000 is for the balance of the crew claims and it should be delivered equally amongst the remaining former crew. 

This controversial offer is subject to the following conditions: 

(1) That, upon receipt of payment of the sum of USD 50,000 all legal proceedings by the former crew and their dependants against owner of Acor Condesca Holdings Ltd BVI are withdrawn. 

(2) That Candesca Holding Ltd. BVI pay crew and their dependants and owners of USD 15,000 to former crew of Salango pay USD 35,000 to arrive at the settlement amount of USD 50,000. 

(3) That, owner of Salango be furnished with satisfactory proof of the payments of USD 15,000 by Candesca Holdings Limited BVI to the former crew and their dependants, before they could pay the balance of USD 35,000. 

(4) That, owners of Salango will nominate an agent in Mombasa, probably Inch-Cape Shipping Services to pay the sum of USD 35,000 directly to the former crew, their dependants and their lawyer, if he can show them that the former crew and their dependants have agreed thereto. 

As head of Kenyan delegation on the South African trip I was accompanied by retired Merchant Shipping Superintendent Capt. John Martin Odhach and two survivors MV Acor tragedy Messrs, Mutua, and Mushilah. 

Seafarers Assistance Program appeals to the government of Kenya to ensure that families of Kenyan Seafarers who have been maimed or perished several years ago in the high seas are also compensated. 

It hurts very much to note that Ship Owners do not compensate crew members after being paid by their insurers. 


Andrew Mwangura 

Programs Co-ordinator

SEAFARERíS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM