Suspicions arise over third Chinese crewman vanishing
FOR the third time since June 2, a Chinese man jumped ship in Gladstone on Friday, raising concerns someone in the region could be assisting the workers in deserting their ships.
The man did not return from approved shore leave while his vessel was docked in Gladstone on Friday.
As of yesterday afternoon, Australian Border Force was still searching for him.
Mission to Seafarers Gladstone chaplain Russell Cunningham said it was rare for a crew member to jump ship.
Mr Cunningham expects Australian Border Force to "tighten" their controls on Chinese crew-led ships off the back of the three disappearances.
After hearing of the third incident at the weekend, Mr Cunningham became worried someone in Gladstone could be helping the crew members desert their vessels.
"Especially the Chinese crews, they're a tight-knit group and they stay together," Mr Cunningham said.
"From what I've heard, the two who went missing last month weren't part of a tight-knit group; they were new to the crew and hadn't formed close friendships.
"Most seafarers will not just run from a ship because they're looking after their family, they need the money."
The latest search follows at least two instances last month when Chinese nationals fled their ships docked in the Gladstone Harbour.
The Australian Border Force is expected to release more information about the two disappearances earlier this month, including if the men have been found.
At the weekend, ABF worked with Queensland Police in their bid to locate the Chinese crew member.
Gladstone Ports Corporation confirmed Friday's disappearance was not from a GPC-owned facility.
GPC chief executive Peter O'Sullivan said they have "strict controls" on the movement of crew on shore leave.