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Family of crewman who died in King’s Lynn calls for compensation

PUBLISHED: 16:18 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:48 08 March 2018

The SMN Explorer cargo ship at the Alexandra Dock in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The SMN Explorer cargo ship at the Alexandra Dock in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

A family is threatening legal action to obtain compensation over the death of a crewman on a cargo ship.

Mr Ismaili at home in Albania with his three children. Picture courtesy of the Ismaili family.Mr Ismaili at home in Albania with his three children. Picture courtesy of the Ismaili family.

It came as a Norfolk MP said he had written to the Shipping Minister asking for the identity of the vessel’s owner.

Able seaman Alfred Ismaili, 32, was pronounced dead on board the Liberian-registered SMN Explorer at King’s Lynn’s Alexandra Dock on Thursday, February 1.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is investigating the accident and an inquest has been opened into his death.

Mr Ismaili who came from Durres, Albania, left a wife and three young children.

Sir Henry bellingham, who has written to the shipping minister. Picture: ArchantSir Henry bellingham, who has written to the shipping minister. Picture: Archant

His contract of employment included a “collective bargaining agreement for crews on flag of convenience ships”, which states his next of kin should receive $102,308 and each dependant child $20,462 in the event of his death.

Mr Ismaili’s body has now been flown home for burial at his employer’s expense.

Now his family’s lawyer in Albania has written to all parties involved with the ship, asking when they will be compensated for his death.

“We need to start the procedures of life reimbursement for his family, with the employer of Alfred Ismaili,” she said. “If we don’t have any answer, we are obliged to hire a Lawyer in Norfolk, UK, and to start the trial for this purpose.”

A police forensic van arrives at Lynn docks. Picture: Chris BishopA police forensic van arrives at Lynn docks. Picture: Chris Bishop

Mr Ismaili joined the Explorer as a $1,510 a month crew member in Rotterdam in November. His contract was due to end on March 20.

The ship was described as being on “time charter” to shipping firm Scotline.

Mr Ismaili’s contract of employment lists its owner as Sky Mare Navigation of Piraeus, Greece.

But its entry in the Republic of Liberia’s register of shipping, in New York, lists its owner as Explorer Ships of Monrovia, Liberia.

North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham has written to the shipping minister Jo Johnson requesting details of the ownership of the vessel.

He said: “My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family of Alfred Ismaili. The grief has obviously been compounded by having to wait for his body to be flown home.

“I have written to the Shipping Minister to try and ascertain the full details of the Liberian registered cargo ship, the SNM Explorer. I have asked ministers to let me know who actually owns the vessel because although Liberian registered, the vessel appears to have Greek owners who have chartered it out to a cargo shipping company. We need this information very badly in order to find out if there was the relevant insurance covering such accidents.”

Mr Bellinghaam paid tribute to the ABP staff who acted incredibly quickly and courageously after the accident.

He said: “As I understand it, ABP staff were not in any way involved in the accident but, they did all they could to try and save his life. It must have been a traumatic experience for them and I have the utmost respect for their attempted rescue effort. They certainly did ABP proud.”

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