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    Stranded Russian sailors running out of food in Panama

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    The crew of the Piruit cargo vessel, which has been stranded in Panama since early April, is running out of food, an International Transport Workers' Federation official said on Tuesday.

    VLADIVOSTOK, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - The crew of the Piruit cargo vessel, which has been stranded in Panama since early April, is running out of food, an International Transport Workers' Federation official said on Tuesday.

    The Panama-flagged ship with 11 Russian sailors on board ran aground while crossing the Panama Canal. The company which repaired the vessel's prow, damaged in the accident, seized the ship at the port of Colon, but released it after payments were made.

    "I spoke to the captain on Tuesday, and he said that the only food on board was three kilograms (6.6 lbs) of potatoes and three kilograms of cabbage," Pyotr Osichansky said. He denied earlier media reports that food and water supplies had been delivered to the ship.

    Electricity on the ship has been cut off since August 20.

    Both the vessel's owner, registered in the British Virgin Islands, and the Vladivostok-based management company, are currently refusing to pay $25,000 in maintenance costs and $110,000 in wage arrears. The companies also refuse to pay $50,000 to renew the permit allowing the vessel to fly the flag of Panama.

    The Piruit crew is currently considering a proposal to conduct charter voyages for three to four months.

     

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