90 Miles From Tyranny : Over 1,000 Crew Members Are Stranded On 'Abandoned' Cargo Ships Globally Without Pay Or Food

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Over 1,000 Crew Members Are Stranded On 'Abandoned' Cargo Ships Globally Without Pay Or Food


Pandemic-driven global trade disruptions and an increasing number of shipping companies abandoning their own vessels over mounting debts including older vessels deemed too costly to repair has led to the rise in the phenomenon of crewmembers simply being abandoned at sea, often left to fend for themselves as they await pay which sometimes never comes.

A Friday investigative report in The Wall Street Journal has detailed some of the shocking stories of tanker crew members left adrift after companies abandoned vessels or sold or transferred them, or couldn't pay mounting debts, while trying to survive oftentimes on little food even while moored close to resort locations in places like Dubai - or in other cases floating off the Suez Canal or at Black Sea ports.

"The $14 trillion shipping industry, responsible for 90% of world trade, has left in its wake what appears to be a record number of cargo-ship castaways," the report begins. "Abandonment cases are counted when shipowners fail to pay crews two or more months in wages or don’t cover the cost to send crew members home, according to the International Maritime Organization, a United Nations agency."

The UN agency recorded a doubling in the number of abandonment cases for 2020, with the number expected to grow once again for 2021 particularly after a noticeable surge in cases now getting media attention.

WSJ cites the industry labor union, International Transport Workers’ Federation, to detail that over 1,000 international crew members are currently abandoned. But the report assures the true number of those left aboard container ships and bulk carriers whose transport operations have been halted is likely way higher, given individual crew members' reluctance to come forward for fear of not getting hired by other freight companies.

Though most of those who effectively overnight became "castaways" choose to stay aboard abandoned ships until they get paid, in many cases they legally cannot disembark even if they wanted to due to complex local laws dictating policies of...




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2 comments:

Old Tech said...

And who says people won't embark on a ship to become slaves?

Noor al Haqiqa said...

And here we are worrying about Christmas stock getting here in time....
FOUR YEARS on the Black Sea!...
This certainly is not in the mainstream news. It should be.