Philippine officials work to help sailors stranded on Delaware River

 The Nikol H is a cargo ship that's been anchored in the Delaware for months. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The Nikol H is a cargo ship that's been anchored in the Delaware for months. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Philippine authorities are working to get shore leave for 17 Filipino seafarers whose ship has been stranded for months in Philadelphia due to mechanical and financial problems.

The Philippine consulate general in New York released a statement Wednesday saying the men are in good spirits and receiving pay despite not being allowed off the vessel.

The ship Nikol H unloaded its cargo of cocoa beans in Philadelphia in April. The Coast Guard ordered it to make repairs before leaving.

However, court documents indicate the vessel hasn’t paid for the repairs or wharf fees since docking. Federal authorities detained the ship May 23.

U.S. customs officials won’t allow seafarers to go ashore without proper visas. But a spokesman says some Filipino crew members have returned home and been replaced.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.