A week of accountability for rogue shipowners starts today with a Flag of Convenience skipper made to walk the plank at Darling Harbour.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation launches a nationwide week of action against ship-owners guilty of crew abuse and exploitation today with a spectacle in Darling Harbour.

As part of its long running campaign against Flag of Convenience shipping responsible for the majority of crew abuse, environmental plunder, drug trafficking, money laundering, gun running and other criminal activity, the ITF has elected Yuri Rippemovolot responsible for the collective sins of FOC operators worldwide.

Captain Rippemovolot (alias Sean Chaffer) will be charged with a litany of abuse off our coastline,” said ITF Australia Co-coordinator Dean Summers. “And while the bloke walking the plank may be fictitious, the injury these pirate shipowners do to seafarers and our marine environment is no joke and the action we’re planning against shipowners like him over the next week is for real. Pay up, or we’ll see justice done.”

Where: Darling Harbour, near Pyrmont Bridge, city side

When: 12.15 pm Monday, November 11

Media are invited to join charter boat River Princess at King Street Wharf No 9 at 11.50. Departure time: 12 midday. Refreshments available.

The event will mark the beginning of a weeklong campaign against foreign ships guilty of crimes against seafarers. Around 100 volunteer maritime workers and ITF inspectors will be swooping on an estimated 100 ships in 40 ports nationwide. As part of this year’s campaign the ITF will also be ‘outing’ Australian shippers and freight forwarders guilty of chartering ships of shame.

“Australia is particularly susceptible to the horrors of FOC shipping because of federal government policy of replacing Australian workers with crews of convenience and encouraging shippers to go for the bottom line. It’s outrageous to think of a government and otherwise respectable companies actively encouraging this system.”