Maersk Constellation Resumes Voyage

April 2011

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The SIU crew and AMO officers aboard the Maersk Constellation safely departed the port of Lobito, Angola, following a peculiar detention by Angolan authorities that lasted more than two weeks.


The vessel was carrying food aid and ammunition provided by the U.S. government and destined for several African nations. Beginning March 1, the ship was detained in Angola due to a perceived customs documentation issue that eventually was clarified. The vessel sailed again on March 17.


SIU headquarters officials stayed in touch with the crew and company throughout the episode. During a phone call, Recertified Bosun Doyle Ellette told SIU President Michael Sacco and Vice President Contracts George Tricker that the mariners remained patient and kept their sense of humor throughout the delay. The bosun also said he and the rest of the crew appreciated the concern and regular communications from Maersk and the union.


U.S government entities including the State Department helped resolve the situation. Apparently, Angolan authorities were confused about some of the ship’s cargo, which included ammunition bought by the government of Kenya as well as food aid destined for Rwanda, Angola, Malawi and Mozambique.


“Our top concern from the beginning has been the safety of the mariners aboard the Maersk Constellation, and I know the same is true of AMO and Maersk,” said Tricker. “We’re obviously pleased that the ship was able to resume its voyage without further delay, and on behalf of the entire union I applaud the patience and professionalism of the crew.”


Maersk Vice President of Labor Relations Ed Hanley thanked SIU and AMO officials for their support and added, “The entire ship’s crew has stood tall and done the U.S. Merchant Marine proud.”

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Maersk Constellation

The crew of the Maersk Constellation are in good spirits following their departure from Angola.