The last two crew members of a cargo vessel stranded in port because its parent company faced financial difficulties have finally gone home.

The Independent had been in Shoreham Port since 2013 after its owners failed to pay outstanding fuel bills.

The vessel, which initially had eight crew on board, was not allowed to move while the debt problem was resolved.

Its crew were owed tens of thousands of pounds in unpaid wages and relied on a charity to provide them with rations during a year-and-a-half on board.

However the ordeal has now come to an end after the ship’s parent company Independent Shipping, owned by Dudman construction boss Steve Dudman, settled their outstanding wages.

The crew were able to go home with colleagues on another stranded vessel, the MV Torrent in Rye Harbour.

A total of £61,282 in unpaid salary was paid to 12 crew members.

The Rev Roger Stone, of the Apostleship of the Sea charity, which helped the crew, said: “At last this long-running saga has been brought to an end and the seafarers have received the money that was rightfully theirs.”

Roger and his team of volunteers provided practical and pastoral support to the seafarers who were “unpaid and left in limbo”. The charity raised emergency funds for the crew to send home and provided food, internet access and phone cards so they could contact their families.

There were originally eight crew but six went home of their own accord and are not being paid.

The last two were the ship’s captain, Michael Polyakov, and crew member, 32-year-old Ukrainian Igor Aleyvikos.

Shoreham Port confirmed the last two sailors have finally left the UK.