North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins has called for the Government to intervene in bringing home a sea cadet from Springfield, near Cupar, who’s stranded in the South China Sea along with three others.
Merchant Navy cadet David Gorniak (27), who is studying at Clyde Marine Training through Glasgow College, has been aboard the Hanjin Louisiana for the past five months – and he and his fellow cadets are unable to get off because the shipping company they were with has gone into receivership.
David was due home a few weeks ago, but the receivership has to go through the courts and Hanjin refuses to dock their ships for fear vessels and goods will be seized,
So David has been left 40 miles off the coast of Singapore with no idea when he may get home.
His mother, Lynne, is very concerned by the uncertainty of the situation and has called for the UK Government to intervene.
She said: “David is in regular contact by email and taking this in his stride. After running low on food and water, the ship was re-supplied last week and it was hoped the cadets could board the supply vessel but that didn’t happen. He is passing his time by reading books and writing reports and says the crew of 17 are treating them well but they have absolutely no idea when this will end.”
Mrs Gorniak is also concerned that the ship is in waters which have a history of piracy, while the monsoon season is also approaching.
“I don’t understand why the Royal Navy hasn’t been asked to intervene, there must be a ship out there,” she said.
“My own father was in the Navy and would have been mortified that this situation has been allowed to go on.
Stephen Gethins, who has met with David’s mother, said: “This is very concerning for David’s family and the families of the other cadets with him. I have written to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson, asking that he personally intervene in this matter and along with my colleague, Westminster SNP Transport Group leader, Drew Hendry MP, who also has a constituent on board, will be pressing for a resolution to this situation as soon as possible.
“The news earlier this month that Hanjin - the seventh biggest shipping company in the world - was in to receivership sent shockwaves through the industry – however the human cost of this situation is still little known with over 2500 seafarers stranded out at sea, including these four cadets. My immediate concern, and that of my colleagues, is to get these cadets home.
“Although the cadets have tried to stay positive throughout this ordeal, the very real prospect of being stranded for several months, is understandably taking its toll on them. Their families are naturally extremely anxious about the welfare of their loved ones – as we would all be.”