HALIFAX - The owner of a cockroach-infested tugboat detained in Halifax for safety problems says the crew should fix the boat rather than appeal to the public for help to return to their homes in Central America.
The Mission to Seafarers is nearing their goal to cover the costs of flying the eight crew members back to their families in Honduras and El Salvador.
The men have been living aboard the vessel since it sailed into Halifax on Dec. 18 to escape a winter gale.
Transport Canada inspectors say the 68-year-old boat is being held because of poor living conditions, pollution and concerns over its condition.
Gerard Antoine, the president of Vesta Shipping which owns the tugboat, says he doesn't think he has any responsibility to help pay for tickets to have the crew return home.
He says the crew should stay on the vessel, repair it and complete a journey to Montreal to pick up another vessel and tow it to Mexico.