Polar Star

Polar Star
Will She break some more ice?...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Help needed

Dear Friends and People of Goodwill,

My name is Jacek Lisiecki and I am the captain of the Polar Star, the expedition ship most of you have either recognized or loved.

As you may know by now all assets of our owner and operator, Karlsen Shipping Company Limited and Polar Star Expeditions, were ceased by the lenders SpareBank 1 SMN and Toronto Dominion Bank on May 12 and the receiver, Price Waterhouse Cooper was appointed on May 17 in the Courts of Nova Scotia, Canada.

At this moment it is not of my interest to study the reasons of this cease but I am to cry for help.

The crew on board was not paid for the last three months. Including some crew previous months outstanding balance as of today, May 18 the total claim for unpaid crew wages is already over a quarter million of USD and increasing over three thousands every day.

We are in process of undertaking all necessary steps to claim our money in the court with the assistance of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), as we have been covered by the Agreement between our Owners/Company and the Norwegian and Philippine Unions.

We realize this legal process may take some extensive time and the outcome may not be to our full satisfaction.

We are deeply disappointed that until now, neither lenders nor the receiver have contacted us with a proposal of either reimbursing the outstanding salaries or at least arranging our repatriation home.

Hence, I am forced to think the lenders and/or the receiver have chosen to secure their money without looking after the wellness and freedom of people they are abandoning in the foreign country, away from home, on the ship with no cash, little food supplies left and no agent to cooperate with.

Therefore, I would like to ask you to donate any smallest amount of money in order to raise funds for the repatriation of my twenty seven crew members still remaining on board of the Polar Star.

Understanding that the lenders and the receiver have no intention to operate the Polar Star in any way, this lovely ship is becoming to us nothing else but a bundle of steel quickly devaluating in value.

It is heart breaking that this moment came just after the ship has been fully repaired in Las Palmas shipyard, following her recent grounding in Antarctica last winter.

However, we all understand there is no room for sentiments in the nowadays business world.

And hence, as legally our contracts were broken already a month ago I feel no responsibility to protect the ship anymore but only its crew, even at the cost of letting the Polar Star to be completely abandoned and left unprotected.

Should raised money be over our needs, the crew decided to authorize the ITF to utilize it for repatriating other seafarers that have been or will be abandoned in the similar way. We think being blessed by your gesture of solidarity we must pass it onto other seafarers, who in the XXI century still become victims of piratical practices as often as of the real pirates.

Thank you for your consideration and/or taking your time to pass it onto other people of goodwill or institutions you may know.

Yours truly,

Jacek Lisiecki


  1. hang on in there guys. we'll try and do what we can for you all.


  2. Playing a Lotto and holding fingers crossed - take care guys - Capt Leszek

  3. Witam serdecznie, Panie Jacku. Nie dane Nam było pływać razem na Polar Star, ale doskonale rozumiem Waszą sytuację! Byłem tam kilka lat temu za 2nda z pokładu i to byl naprawdę piękny czas i wspaniałe wspomnienia! Mam kontakt z mnóstwem ludzi ze statku, zaróano z załogo jaki i ze Staffu. Szczerze to zszokowałą mnie wiadomość o sytuacji statku i nie wiem , jak Martin, któy zadawał się byc zawsze facetem z jajami mógł zostawić Was na pastwę losu! Proszę powiedzieć, jak mógłbym pomóc i gdzie ewentualnie wpłacać jakieś choćby symboliczne sumy? Mój email. berbul@gmail.com

    Andrzej Berleć

  4. Good morning, Jack and all the crew...

    So sorry for you all...i really hope you will be ok.

    Take care and god bless.

  5. Martin Karlsen = a thief.What a disgrace! Good luck for all the crew!

  6. Hello friends onboard! Oh how I wish I could be with you sailing into the ice.

    Martin Karlsen isn't the thief --- your anger should be directed at TD Bank in Canada. The ship is in better shape than she's been in years and was set for a good (and lucrative) season in Svalbard. But bankers stepped in and decided they didn't like the risk metrics so pulled the plug. It's foolish of them because with a little more money out they were likely to get the full debt back within some seasons, but now they're likely to get much less back.

    But, my friends, crew and captain and all, you will very likely get your money in the end because you are 'in line' for settlement before the bank is.

    I'm still dreaming that we can all be together sailing south from Ushuaia in December...

    Love to you all, stay strong
    ~ Ted

    Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris

  7. Czy wplacac gdzies jakas kaske, duzo nie mam ale cos...

  8. Martin is not a thief. He's a good man. I've seen him and talked with him while I was with Polar Star more than two or more years ago. He's a good person. Not a hint of arrogance in him. Don't blame him for this.

    To the officers and crew of the lovely Polar Star, hang on in there. You all soon will be going back home.

    God bless you all.--Joseph Banate