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  1. ITV Report

Students could be stranded at sea for months after company goes bankrupt

David Gorniak and Ruaridh Hannah are stranded on a vessel near Singapore with two other cadets Credit: Ruaridh Hannah/Facebook

Four trainee Scottish sailors have been stranded at sea on a ship after the shipping company that owns the vessel went bankrupt.

The cadets have been stranded in South East Asia since the beginning of September because ports around the world are refusing to allow the ship to dock or unload through fear they will not get paid.

Crew aboard many Hanjin Shipping boats are stranded around the globe, including Scottish students Ruairidh Hanna, 22, David Gorniak, 27, Gavin McPhail, 21, and an unnamed sailor, 25 who are all on work experience.

The group currently has no idea when they will be able to travel home and have reportedly had little communication with the bankrupt company which was South Korea's largest shipping firm.

One of the cadets Ruaridh Hanna has been posting updates on their situation to Facebook. In his last post on Saturday he stated there was a chance they could be returning home just four days later, which did not happen. He also acknowledges they could be stranded for months.

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The students, aboard Hanjin Louisiana, are anchored east of Singapore in an area vulnerable to pirates operating in the area.

Mother of Mr Hanna, Rhona MacLennan, said that the concern about pirate attacks is constantly there, adding: "That's something I absolutely dread."

James Gorniak, brother of David, said that they could have been brought home already by supplier vessels but that the sailors' sponsorship company has "stayed silent on the matter".

But he said the sailors are in "high spirits" and have plenty of medical and food supplies.

The sailors were training for their second sea phase as part of their Nautical Science course when shipping company filed for bankruptcy.

SNP MP Drew Hendry says the government needs to take action to help bring the young men home.

Some Hanjin ships and cargo have been seized by creditors Credit: PA

They are effectively being kept prisoner aboard, they want to come home. After they got in touch with me my immediate concern was to get them home to their families.

I have called on the foreign secretary to make arrangements to communicate with the boat and get the cadets off of the vessel.

It's an unfair situation they are in, who knows what lies in the future, they could be stranded for days, weeks or months, as long as it takes to unravel the financial mess the company is in.

– SNP MP Drew Hendry
Crews around the globe are stranded at sea after the shipping company filed for bankruptsy Credit: Reuters

There are an estimated 89 Hanjin ships currently stranded around the world with creditors seizing only some of the fleet.