OP-ED: Empty Ships, Empty Seas.

London. UK.  Reporting for Human Rights at Sea and following her previous OP-EDs, Port of London Authority Pilot, Ms. Ivana Carrioni-Burnett, provides another personal insight during the COVID-19 crisis. The current plight many seafarers are facing, unable to crew change or return home, is being described by many voices within the maritime community as the next humanitarian crisis.

Seafarers UK CEO raises concerns about availability and reliability of crew suicide statistics

Seafarer suicide statistics spotlighted as coronavirus curtails crew changes. London. UK. Seafarers UK CEO, Catherine Spencer, has raised public concerns about the availability and reliability of statistics concerning seafarer suicides at sea during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a press release issued by the organisation on 3 July, and ahead of the 2020 Seafarer Awareness Week 6-12 July, the CEO highlighted the recent public reporting of seafarer suicides during the crew change crisis, but that no single source of reliable data is currently available.

Human Rights at Sea and the Dominica Maritime Administration join forces for the crew of MV Gulf Sky

Press Release  Monday 22 June 2020 London. UK.  Human Rights at Sea is pleased to announce that it has partnered with the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Administration to work towards resolving the ongoing case of the MV Gulf Sky, registered under the Dominica Registry, anchored off Port Khor Fakkan Anch, UAE with 22 Indian seafarers...

MV Gulf Sky Update: Flag State Refers Case to Mediation

London.UK. The ongoing case of the MV Gulf Sky published by Human Rights at Sea last week, reported on the challenges and standing problems of the crew when salaries, provisions and management communications are disrupted. The charity has continued to follow the case and yesterday ( 2 June 2020), was updated by the flag State as to the further actions being taken from their position.

Seafarers’ Challenges during COVID-19: The Case of MV Gulf Sky

London.UK.  Human Rights at Sea was contacted in mid-May by the Master of the MV Gulf Sky (IMO 150377) flying the flag of Dominican Republic currently anchored off Port Khor Fakkan Anch, UAE, who on behalf of the crew, raised serious concerns about the welfare of the seafarers and the financial hardships that they are subject to given the three months delay in their wages, as well as their living conditions onboard including periodic re-supply of essential victuals.

New Zealand Seafarer Welfare Providers classed as Essential Workers during COVID-19

London. UK. Maritime New Zealand has designated seafarer welfare representatives as 'essential workers' and provided clear advice for port welfare service providers in terms of their role, available support and the access that they can gain to seafarers. Provided to the Seafarer Welfare Board (SWB) of New Zealand the following advice remains extant at the time of writing. Most notably, crews that have been at sea for 14 days are considered to have the same rights as New Zealand citizens.

Stranded in Tunisia with an Uncertain Future: A Seafarer’s Insight.

"I'm facing financial crisis. I don't understand how will pay mortgages, household expenses and children education fees without income. I am away from family for almost 10 weeks without employment. Seafarer to be treated as essential worker and give priority for employment." London. UK. Since April, Human Rights at Sea has been put on notice of cases of seafarers stranded on board vessels, stuck in hotels, and in some cases without salaries been paid without having recourse to employer or union support.

South China Morning Post publishes new article ‘Prisoners at Sea’ reviewing seafarers’ challenges during COVID-19

London, UK. The South China Morning Post has conducted an investigation into the ongoing conditions for seafarers on onboard vessels currently stuck at sea during the COVID-19 pandemic, including cases and commentary from Human Rights at Sea. Published today and titled '‘Prisoners at sea’: stuck on board cargo ships, crews find their mental well-being under threat', the long read article has been complied by journalist, Kate Whitehead.

Thome Group speaks to Human Rights at Sea about PPE for Seafarers

London, UK. Following the recent highlighting to Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) of concerns from seafarers about lack of access to, and availability of, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while serving on vessels transiting global shipping lanes, the charitable NGO has engaged with the maritime industry most recently speaking with the Thome Group about their actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This follows recent HRAS articles challenging the PPE issue.

Gard Insight. Seafarers in a time of pandemic – strategies for maintaining and improving mental wellbeing

London UK. / Singapore. Kunal Pathak, a Master Mariner with substantial shipboard and shore-based experience,  currently employed as a Loss Prevention Manager in Gard’s Singapore office, has written an Insight about maintaining the mental wellness of the seafarers during the current challenging times.

Seafarers continue to highlight their worries and concerns to Human Rights at Sea

"Please note as of date there are 9 crew members overdue for relief who are fatigued both mentally and physically, and under enormous pyscological pressure to safely execute their shipboard responsibilities." London. UK. A steady stream of contact from concerned seafarers continues to flow into the UK charity, Human Rights at Sea. In the majority of cases, the issues being raised are ones being communicated to highlight facts and concerns which seafarers feel are being under-reported rendering them invisible and without a voice. Notably, virtually all seafarers who communicate with the charity do not want to be identified due to their worries about retribution for speaking up.

Release of Captain Michael Lloyd’s Letter to the IMO concerning COVID-19 and Infected Crews

London. UK. With permission, Human Rights at Sea publishes the 15th March 2020 letter sent to the IMO by Captain Michael Lloyd, RD**, MNM, CMMar, FNI, raising his concerns of the consequences and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on crews, including the treatment of those infected and the necessity for PPE to be placed onboard ships.

Greater Access to PPE called for by concerned Seafarers

"Please raise the issue of seafarers exposure risk to COVID 19 before some unfortunate seafarers die onboard". London, UK. London, UK. Some seafarers who have been in direct contact with Human Rights at Sea are increasingly calling for greater levels of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be made more widely available, not just for themselves, but for those maritime workers who come onboard their vessels including surveyors, agents, pilots and stevedores, by way of example. This includes face masks and gloves. 

VIDEO. Indian Fishermen stranded in Iran without pay and food running low

'After the pilgrims and students then we will come to the fishermen'. London. UK. Human Rights at Sea has been requested to raise the plight of up to an assessed 1000 Indian fishermen stranded in and around Kish Island, Iran, without work and pay since 24 February, and who are now running very short on staple foods which it is reported will only last for several more days.

Insight. Concerns of a Seafarer during COVID-19.

"We guys are fully exhausted and already [have] completed our contract..." London. UK. In the past two weeks, Human Rights at Sea has been contacted by seafarers from around the world highlighting their concerns and plight in relation to COVID-19. Many of their principle concerns have revolved around not being heard, not being well-represented and not having an individual voice.

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