11-member crew trapped in ship off Fort Lauderdale for 3 months

Delphinus' crew is from Ukraine, Poland, Philippines

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – For three months, the crew of the container ship Delphinus has been trapped. They were doing their best to kill boredom outside of their small cabins on Saturday. 

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested the ship and sequestered its 11-member crew due to a debt dispute between Afco Shipping Line LLC and the ship's owner. 

Since they anchored off Fort Lauderdale Beach Park April 23rd, they used their access to the internet to stay in touch with family. The ships captain, who is from Ukraine, e-mailed The Seafarers House, a Port Everglades-based aid organization for mariners, in May to ask for help.

The non-profit spent about $1,800 to send a boat to pick them up, so they could take a break for a few hours on dry land at the Casa Del Marino near Port Everglades on Thursday and Friday.  Chaplain Paul Schweinler went aboard the ship to meet with the crew members.  

The shipping line's crew agent has been paying the crew, who comes from Ukraine, Poland and the Philippines. Their hope is that they will be able to move on with their lives once the ship, registered in Antigua & Barbuda, is sold at auction Aug. 11. 

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