Union welcomes sale of impounded superyacht Indian Empress


Nautilus International the union that protects crew working on superyachts has welcomed the court-ordered sale of the superyacht Indian Empress, which has been abandoned by its multi-millionaire owner since September last year.

Now the Union is seeking to ensure that the auction proceeds are promptly used to pay almost €250,000 in wages owed to the crew of the 95m superyacht, which was arrested in Malta in March on behalf of 13 creditors who are reported to be owed around €2m.

Nautilus has already secured the payment of four months’ unpaid wages – totalling more than US$615,000 – under the ‘safety net’ financial security provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention following negotiations with the insurers and managers of the superyacht, which was owned by Vijay Mallya – whose business empire includes Kingfisher beer.

Nautilus strategic organiser Danny McGowan commented: ‘This is a really significant milestone in this long-running saga and it demonstrates the importance of Nautilus membership for crews in this sector. We are working with our lawyers in Malta to ensure that the crew are paid all their outstanding wages as soon as possible. The sale proceeds must be deposited in court within the next seven days and the court will then arrange for the creditors – including Nautilus members – to be paid the sums they are owed.’

Nautilus International is an independent, influential, global trade union and professional organisation, committed to delivering high quality, cost-effective services to members, and welfare support to necessitous seafarers, their dependants and other maritime professionals.

The union traces its history back more than 160 years to 1857, when the Mercantile Marine Service Association was founded in the UK in response to the provisions of the 1850 Merchant Shipping Act.

Over the decades, various bodies representing seafarers and inland navigation workers in three countries were founded – and later joined together in the interests of their members, resulting eventually in the organisation we now know as Nautilus International.