Port of Quebec: living for three years in an abandoned ship

Two sailors live on Ethan, ship “abandoned” for nearly three years in Quebec. But they could finally go home: the Federal Court ordered the seizure and sale of the boat at the request of the port who dreams of getting rid of the hot potato … and recover some money.
“It’s really exceptional,” says Marie-Andrée Blanchet, public relations and events advisor. With no news from the owners since moons, the Quebec Port Authority has had to question justice.

“We are not paid,” she says. “So, what we did was that last November, we started proceedings in the Federal Court. It’s our ultimate resort because we did not have any more communications. ”

The judgment fell in April. The court ruled in favor of the port. “It’s encouraging. The ship has been put on sale, there are offers that have been received. Normally, it should end in not long! ”

And the two men? “They are well, they have food, they are supported,” says Ms. Blanchet. The port continues to supply them with electricity and water. Marine House volunteers take care of them, give them interaction and access to the Web.

Nevertheless, they are far from home: one lived in the Caribbean, the other in Ukraine, before being recruited on the Ethan. And they are not paid.

They can, however, circulate freely. “They wait.”

“Complicated case”

“At the Sailor’s House, they are more than essential,” says Vincent Giannopoulos of the International Union of Canadian Seamen and the International Transport Workers Federation. “Just having someone here, […] it’s so important.”

“It’s a pretty complicated case,” says Giannopoulos. When the ship was purchased three years ago, Lithuanian sailors were hired by D & D Investments Holdings. “It’s a crew that has not been paid for a long time.”

When a small amount has finally been paid, most are gone. Two stayed … and are still without the owner’s support. “It’s really an abandonment.”

Then the seasons have passed.

Now lawyers and the court will decide the distribution of the proceeds of the sale. They will decide if the sailors are entitled to a share.

The amount to share seems very slim. The winner of the auction will not pay the full value. It must be said that the building is sold as is, without guarantee. Judge Peter Annis writes that the assignment is “at the risk and expense of the buyer”.

“There are several creditors and it is sure that there is not enough money to cover all,” warns Vincent Giannopoulos.

US $ 150,000

The magistrate has appointed a “sheriff” to promote the sale, lather the ship to potential buyers … There was however no jostling. According to information recently released by the Federal Court, only one company made an offer; Gambia’s Jah Multi Industrial has pledged US $ 150,000. The court’s notes do not reveal, however, whether the amount was paid.

The assignment could be quick, if the company pays and succeeds in making the Ethan fit for navigation. Creditors have until the end of June to come forward otherwise they can say goodbye to their bet.



Before being baptized Ethan, the ship had a name all Quebecois: Mélissa Desgagnés. As in Groupe Desgagnés, a company based in the capital. “It has been owned by Desgagnés for many years,” confirms Benoît Chassé, vice president of human resources and communications. However, it was sold to D & D Investments Holdings. “It’s not ours. It was sold three years ago. “Ethan was built in 1975 in Ontario. It measures a little over 108 meters. Since 2016, he was flying the Tanzanian flag. Baptiste Ricard-Châtelain

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