As at the end of May 2022, 247 vessels remain abandoned at multiple locations around the world – along with 3,623 seafarers cast adrift, unable to return home – with some of their cases open for more than a decade.
Shipowners are taking additional efforts and also contributing hefty amounts to safely evacuate seafarers who are trapped in the Black Sea due to the intensifying war caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Concerns for the future of Kiribati’s maritime workforce have escalated across the small Pacific Island nation, as the community appeals to their government to bring home more than 250 I-Kiribati seafarers stranded overseas.
On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Central government on the plea of families of five Indian seafarers who had been stranded in Iran and seeking direction to offer counselling and legal service to seafarers for securing repatriation.
31-year-old Yaseen Shah is a seafarer from Bhatkal working on a cargo ship in Iran. However, for the last 19 months, he has been stranded at the docking area of Iran port in Chabahar.
The ongoing case of the Panama-flagged, Turkish owned, MV ALI BEY vessel arrested in Constanta Port, Romania and abandoned since 30 November 2020 has seen the Panama Maritime Authority acknowledge a misquotation of ITF regional co-ordinator, Mohamed Arrachedi, resulting in corrections and amendments to the ILO database.
Ship abandonment is one of the common challenges international seafarers are confronted with, said Andrew Mwangura, a Kenya-based Maritime Consultant. He added that between 2020 and 2021, at least 75 cases of vessel abandonment had been recorded.
Thirteen Filipino seafarers have long been stranded in China. They are lamenting and begging for help so that they can leave the vessel they have been stuck in for 17 months.
Nineteen seafarers from India, Bangladesh, Turkey and Azerbaijan will be able to see their families again this week after the ITF’s advocacy brought their two-year ordeal to a close.