It was tense until the end.
Seven Egyptian crewmen were delayed until the very last moment before officials handed them their wages, allowing them to board a plane home and put an end to a protracted industrial spat aboard the Wadi Alkarm in Port Kembla.
A total of 11 crewmen went on strike last Thursday after telling Australian International Transport Workers' Federation representatives their wages had been halved and they hadn't been permitted access to food and drink between the hours of 7pm and 7am.
While four chose to fly home without wages on Saturday, the remaining seven complained the company had made threatening calls to family since choosing to wait for their pay.
The men were due to receive their wages and leave the vessel at 5pm on Wednesday, however Maritime Union of Australia branch secretary Gary Keane said the men were delayed until after 7pm. It meant they came close to missing their 9.50pm flight out of Sydney airport.
"I think the company was doing it to be bastards right to the death," Mr Keane said.
"It was stressful for the captain, stressful for the crew - the biggest issue I've had has been convincing these guys to stay on board and not breaching immigration law."
The Wadi Alkarm is owned by Egyptian government-run National Navigation Co, and will remain in Port Kembla until crew, who are currently in transit, arrive to take over from the men who have left the ship.
Port Kembla Mission to Seafarers pastoral carer John Kewa has been helping provide vitamins and essentials to the striking crewmen and 19 other sailors aboard the ship.
Mr Kewa said he believed the unstable political situation in Egypt had contributed to the men wanting to leave the ship.
"They said all we need is broadband Wi-Fi," he said.
"They've been very happy with that - that was more important to them than the food."
Tensions have been high in Egypt since the military deposed the democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi following mass protests.
The Illawarra Mercury contacted Egypt's Consulate-General in Sydney but did not receive a response prior to deadline.