Seafarers trapped on ship for 23 months without salary, food and water

Seafarers trapped on ship for 23 months without salary, food and water

Image used for illustrative purposes only

This story was shared by ISWAN on The Maritime Post facebook group
On 29th June 2019, 2 Indian seafarers, Mr. Mayur (from Pune) and Mr. Aniket (from Raigarh) finally returned back their respective homes after spending 23 months of frightening period on an abandoned ship. They had joined a vessel named Al-Nadar, owned by UAE based company ‘Elite Way Marine’ but to their misfortune, just a few months after their joining, it was abandoned by the owner. The supply of basic necessities like food, water, fuel etc. came to a complete standstill including their wages.

When asked about onboard experiences, Mr. Mayur narrated it was a herculean task as they use firewoods to cook food however situation worsened further when they were depleted with all groceries they had in the ship. He specified last 4-5 months were very critical to surviving as all the seafarers were on the mercy of passing by vessels and other agencies for edibles, potable water and temporary provision of electricity, especially for charging their mobile to be in further communication with the authorities and their families.

Apart from Mr. Mayur and Mr. Aniket, the other crew member’s situation was not different. They all faced multiple challenges at the same time. On the one hand, to keep themselves alive, it was the toughest task to arrange food, water etc. on an everyday basis and on the other hand coping with rising temperature as they had to spend most of the time on the open deck area. They all felt very low being away from their respective families, especially when there had no clue on how long will their destitute situation will continue. In addition, as their salaries were also stopped so their families were also suffering financially in multiple ways.

Both Aniket and Mayur repented joining ship through a non-registered manning agent and pledged that in future, they will join only through RPS agent. They became aware of the serious consequences of joining ship through such illicit agents and appreciated the campaign launched by ISWAN to sensitise seafarers on the subject matter. They also emphasized that before joining, it is necessary to take full information and the history of the company, which would really help in the progress of career at sea.

During their conversation, Mr. Mayur & Mr. Aniket thanked ISWAN not only for extending financial support through SEF but also appreciated the persistent effort of various organisations which could bring forth result of the release of all seafarers. Here is a video or Mr. Aniket expressing his gratitude to ISWAN.

ISWAN has started a campaign to discourage Indian seafarers from signing up with crewing agencies which have not registered with the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS). To know more about the campaign, please click this link here (…/indian-seafarers-campaign)

ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp helpline is available 24×7, 365 days a year for all seafarers around the world. Please click to know contact details.

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