As Afloat reported previously, the 30m ship Evora was detained last week at Tarrea pier near Kinvara by the Marine Survey Office (MSO) under port-state control regulations which prevent the vessel from going to sea.
Concerns about the four crew employed for the voyage also prompted a visit to the vessel by the International Transport Federation’s (ITF) Irish branch.
ITF representative Michael Whelan said he had met the crew – three Cubans and a Colombian – to check on their situation in relation to pay, conditions, and accommodation for the crew while the vessel is damaged.
The cargo ship had been due to steam to the Bahamas with a large quantity of cement when the ship’s hull was damaged during loading at Tarrea pier.
Local residents feared that fuel from the ship might leak, causing pollution which would have a serious impact on south Galway’s shellfish industry, including its oyster beds.
The owner said there had been no fuel leak from the vessel and no pollution risk.
The pier is outside the remit of the Galway harbourmaster and is the responsibility of Galway County Council.
It is understood residents found it difficult to get a response from the local authority, and Galway harbourmaster Capt Brian Sheridan intervened to assist.
The Department of Transport, under which the Marine Survey Office operates, said it could not comment on the details of the detention.
It said that any queries should be directed to the ship’s flag state – as in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. However, the ship's port of registry is recorded as Panama on the vessel.
The vessel, built in France 50 years ago, was formerly owned in Rossaveal, Co Galway, but was sold to a new owner within the past 12 months.
The owner confirmed that the vessel had been held as the engine room was flooded, and said: "no harmful substances were released into the bay".
The ITF representative Michael Whelan said he was in regular contact with the crew, and understood they now wished to be repatriated. He confirmed that the crew had been paid, but did not wish to stay indefinitely, as the vessel had not been inspected by flag state inspectors as of yesterday.