THE giant Russian cargo ship MV Torrent which has been stranded at Rye for more than a year was finally due to set sail this week.
It is understood a company has now bought the 999 tonne vessel, which has been moored at the commercial jetty in Rye Harbour since January 2013 on the orders of the Admiralty for commercial reasons.
The Russian captain and five Ukrainian crew members stayed with the impounded ship unpaid for several months and were helped by a Rye Lions appeal which provided them with food and other essentials.
The Torrent was carrying a cargo of roadstone.
Speaking in February last year Captain Moseev said that he and his crew have not been paid any wages since October 2012 and then only a partial payment was received. “He said: “We are all concerned for our wives and children back home who have not received any money for some time”.
Conrad Freezer, from Rye Lions, said: “The ship’s owner was reported to have debts in excess of £1 million for the costs of fuel and general running of the fleet.
Rye Lions then president Malcolm McDonough said: “Being an island nation, with a long maritime history, we have a special place in our hearts for these seafarers who have become destitute through no fault of their own”.
Huge cargo vessels such as the Torrent have been regular visitors to Rye Wharf in recent years and have helped revive Rye’s fortunes as a port.