TSAVLIRIS SALVAGE GROUP - News & Announcements
TSAVLIRIS welcomes Salvage master home from Pakistan - 2004 Apr 21
The TSAVLIRIS SALVAGE GROUP has expressed its gratitude to the Government of Pakistan and to a large number of individuals and organisations for the role they played in the safe return home of company salvage master Nikos Pappas after eight months of detention in Karachi. Mr Pappas returned to Greece along with four members of the crew of the "TASMAN SPIRIT" crew on Monday, while three Filipino crew members of the "Karachi Eight" flew back to Manila.
The charges the men face in connection with the grounding of the tanker last July and subsequent pollution have not been withdrawn, but the conditions of their bail were amended to allow them finally to return home. "We are overjoyed to have Nikos back with us and reunited with his young family" said TSAVLIRIS Managing Director Mr. Constantinides. "It has been a truly awful ordeal for Nikos and his family, which they should never have had to face. Throughout this period, all of us at TSAVLIRIS have done our utmost to support Nikos and work for his release, as have the employers of the "TASMAN SPIRIT" crew members with whom he has spent the last eight months, but it has been a very trying time.
Said Mr. Constantinides: "Notwithstanding the fact that we feel there were no grounds for detaining Nikos or indeed any of the Karachi Eight in Pakistan, we are thankful that the government and courts, together with the Karachi Port Trust, have now made the right decision in allowing the men home. Within the bounds of his being prevented from leaving the country, and being obliged to attend continual court hearings, Nikos has been well-treated during his enforced stay in Pakistan and naturally that is deeply appreciated. "We trust that in due course the charges against Nikos and the other men will be dropped altogether so that the shadow of this episode will be completely lifted," Mr Constantinides added. "In the future, I hope that we will not have to experience cases of other salvors being charged purely for their involvement in trying to assist casualties and preventing pollution, or indeed criminal prosecution of seafarers in general as scapegoats for the consequences of accidents."
TSAVLIRIS went on to say that securing the release of the 'Karachi Eight' was not a solitary effort. "Thanks are due to a long list of people and organisations who have worked tirelessly for this day," said Mr Constantinides. "Principally we wish to thank the Greek government particularly the ministries of mercantile marine and foreign affairs as well as the Greek Embassy in Islamabad which has been superb in supporting the men and intervening in this case; the IMO and its secretary general Mr Mitropoulos have been solidly behind the men's cause and the European Union has made an enormous contribution; of the entities directly involved in the Tasman Spirit case, beside ourselves Polembros has been unstinting in its efforts to support the men and the American Club has been exemplary as a P&I insurer in making the rights and well-being of these men a priority. There are many others deserving of thanks, but they are too numerous to mention."