ITF News Update: 16th to 22th July 2021

Chinese crew leave bulker after 14 months | Lloyd’s List – 16th July

After 14 months of service on board, the six seafarers on Sakizaya Treasure have left the vessel

The local government in China’s Zhenjiang city has greenlighted the changeover for the crew members, who were petitioning for the approval of shore leave earlier this week


Asian sea robberies down 35% | Lloyd’s List – 16th July

Robbery incidents in Asia fell by 35% in the first half of the year due to a to a decrease in the number of incidents in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, the South China Sea and the Sulu-Celebes Seas

The anti-piracy body raises alarm over the situation in the Singapore Strait. Incidents are likely to continue to occur there if the perpetrators are not arrested


The global shipping crisis and labor shortages may get worse because of the slow vaccine rollout for seafarers, say experts | Business Insider – 17th July

A slow rollout of COVID-19 for seafarers risks worsening a worldwide shipping crisis. Infections on vessels are rising, which could further harm already strained global supply chains. Shipping experts warn of delays and a tightened labor pool leading up to Christmas.


Seafarer from Karnataka abandoned by employers in Iran stranded for 19 months | The News Minute – 17th July

The seafarer has not had any contact for the last six months with either the owners of the ship or the agency that got him the job, and is yet to be paid.


Our floating hell: the incredible story of a crew stranded at sea in the Gulf | The Times – 18th July

In 2017 this ship was abandoned off the UAE by its owner with a skeleton crew stuck on board. Hungry and desperate, their ordeal has only just ended. Louise Callaghan hears their story


Kenya become the second in Africa to accepts seafarers crew changes | MT Kenya Times – 19th July

Kenya has now joined 13 countries that agreed to the new international measures to open up borders for seafarers and to increase the number of commercial flights to expedite seafarers repatriation efforts following an international crew change summit held in London 9th July, 2020.


Seafarers Lament Effects Of Covid-19 | The Tide – 19th July

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA)  says the impact of Coronavirus pandemic, also known as Covid-19, in the country is negatively affecting the welfare of seafarers in the sector.


Chinese ports play key role in global recovery | Hellenic Shipping News – 19th July

Brisk activity at ports across China is set to be one of the most visible effects of the ongoing global recovery, a think tank said.


Abandoned boxship master appeals for support | Lloyd’s List – 19th July

Four Syrian crew members left on board a general cargo vessel in Romania when it was detained in November 2020 appeal for outstanding wages to be paid and for repatriation

The crew have been left without money, proper food, potable water with periodic power supplies, says Human Rights at Sea charity


SOS: Stranded and shattered seafarers threaten global supply lines | KFGO – 19th July

“I’ve seen grown men cry,” says Captain Tejinder Singh, who hasn’t set foot on dry land in more than seven months and isn’t sure when he’ll go home.

“We are forgotten and taken for granted,” he says of the plight facing tens of thousands of seafarers like him, stranded at sea as the Delta variant of the coronavirus wreaks havoc on shore.


Gunmen hijack boat, abduct 5 maritime union workers, 3 others in Rivers | Vanguard – 19th July

There is panic in Abonnema area of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Rivers State as gunmen hijack boat and abduct eight travellers.


IMO Vows To Stop Piracy In GoG | The Tide – 19th July

A global agency, International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has vowed to stop the menace of piracy and other criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).


Flag states shoot down move to speed up casualty investigations | Lloyd’s List – 20th July

A proposal by industry heavyweights to have a mandatory time frame included in the casualty investigation code was not supported by IMO member states despite repeated calls to be in line with the aviation industry’s reporting standards


ITF demands answers from Ireland over migrant fisher case | Nautilus International – 20th July

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is insisting that Irish authorities explain the ‘catastrophic’ mishandling of civil and criminal proceedings in a high-profile migrant exploitation case involving four Ghanaian fishers.


Raising standards at sea | Green World – 21st July

“What’s happening beyond our shores is a giant blank in the public debate, and a space where almost anything goes.” Green Peer Natalie Bennett outlines the ongoing debate surrounding human rights at sea.


Panic At Sea: 100,000 Sailors Stuck At Cargo Ships As Global Shipping Crisis Goes From Bad To Worse | Investment Watch Blog – 21st July

The explosion in consumer demand over the past year and a half was the trigger of the ongoing global shipping crisis. There was some hope demand for goods would ease this year, but up until now, it has stayed at record highs. On the other hand, wait times have never been longer and the logistical nightmare faced by global supply chains seems to have no clear end in sight. Experts are now predicting that it will take at least another year before the shipping crisis starts to stabilize. However, the uncontrolled spread of the new virus variant and the slower pace of staff vaccination may jeopardize that forecast. Unfortunately, this means also the worst is yet to come. Supply chains are about to face many more disruptions and consumers will have to deal with extensive shortages from now on.


Maritime courts must put crew welfare first in abandonment cases | ITF Seafarers – 22nd July

Crews of abandoned ships should not have to beg to be allowed home. It is a basic human right. The crew of MV Angelic Power have now been repatriated, after up to 17 months on the ship.


Ever Given crew head for Rotterdam after vessel’s release | Cyprus Shipping News – 22nd July

Panama-flagged containership Ever Given − which blocked the Suez Canal in March − is now on its way with its crew to the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.


WHO Says Seafarers Should Receive Priority for COVID-19 Vaccinations  | Maritime Executive – 22nd July

The World Health Organization named seafarers as one of the groups of transportation workers that should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination in its recently updated guidance on the procedures and process for administering vaccine supplies in areas where supply is limited. The recognition of the important role seafarers play in the global economy came as the WHO also warned that COVID-19 vaccine supply inequity could have a lasting and profound impact on socio-economic recovery in low- and lower-middle income countries


After 18 months, stranded Filipino seafarers repatriated from China | Rappler – 22nd July

The seafarers come home after being stranded over COVID-19 travel restrictions and a commercial dispute involving the ship owner


Marina gets 30,000 doses of Moderna vaccine for seafarers | Manila Times – 22nd July

The Inter-Agency Taskforce for Managing emerging Infectious Disease (IATF), through the intercession of Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez and Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, has allocated 30,000 doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine exclusively for seafarers.