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
shipyard, following her recent grounding in Las Palmas 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.