ITF News Update

Yemen: seafarers in the firing line

Attacks by state actors on merchant shipping are once again putting maritime professionals at risk. Rob Coston reports on the threat, and how the industry is responding. Since the latest war between Israel and Palestine began on 7 October 2023, attacks by Palestinian-aligned actors in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean have put seafarers at risk during voyages through the Suez Canal.


18 Pinoy seafarers held in Oman – DFA

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is still waiting for information on how several Filipino crewmembers of an oil tanker were allegedly taken hostage by the Iran regime in Oman. No confirmation on the incident involving the alleged hijacking of the MV St. Nikolas near Oman and the Hormuz Strait was released as of last night.


Fishermen want separate solutions to issues in marine, inland fisheries

A meeting of fishermen, fish workers, and those in allied sectors, including aquaculturists, with experts, scientists, researchers, and policy-makers here on Saturday saw fishermen raising the demand for evolving separate solutions to problems confronting inland and marine fisheries sectors.


Turkish women take the helm of luxury cruise ships

Two Turkish women are making waves as trailblazing captains of cruise ships, navigating not just the vast oceans but also gender barriers that have long defined the maritime industry. Meet Hande İpek Yamanel and İrem Düzdaban, whose remarkable journeys have set them at the helm of maritime history. They captain the ships of the world’s leading cruise companies, breaking taboos and paving the way for women.


Women’s PPE still a ‘challenge’ for North Sea workforce

Women working in the North Sea energy sector are still experiencing issues with finding correctly fitting PPE, according to an Aberdeen-based gender equality group. In 2021 AXIS Network conducted a survey that found 68% of women working offshore did not have “correctly fitting” coveralls.


Outspoken rights campaigner turns attention to investigating abuse in shipping

Human Rights at Sea founder David Hammond leaves to focus on investigations and consultancy. The founder of Human Rights at Sea has stepped down to focus on behind-the-scenes investigations of abuse within shipping and coastal communities.


Renewal for two more years of Cyprus Seafarers’ Collective Bargaining Agreement

The Cyprus Shipping Chamber (CSC), acting under its capacity as an employers’ association, signed the renewal of the Cyprus Collective Bargaining Agreement for Seafarers employed on Cyprus flag ships, with the two Cyprus seafarers trade unions, SEK and PEO, on Friday.


Global shipping recession could end as freight rates soar on Red Sea troubles

Vessels transiting the Red Sea have faced attacks over the past several weeks from Yemen-based Houthis, prompting shipping companies to change routes, leading to a spike in freight rates. Longer detours around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa have pushed ocean freight rates up to $10,000 per 40-foot container.


Trade Unions Block Arms Exports to Israel: International Workers’ Solidarity

Around the world, trade unions and workers are refusing to participate in the production and transportation of arms intended for Israel. Particularly notable are the actions of port workers’ unions, who have demonstrated in line with their tradition that the struggle for workers’ rights is inseparable from the fight for human rights, equality, and freedom.


Will seafarers be on the agenda?

Although the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a secretariat, it does contribute to the agenda setting of the industry, which I have come to observe, seems to reflect the leadership. As the new IMO secretary-general takes office, effective January 1, my thoughts turn to seafarers and what place they hold in Arsenio Dominguez’s heart.


ENAP and SAAM to operate first electric tugboat in Latin America

Empresa Nacional del Petroleo (ENAP) and SAAM Towage, have signed a service agreement that will make Chile the first country in Latin America with an electric tugboat.


“Death at Sea” Exposes Unanswered Questions in Fisheries Observer’s Death

In March 2020, Eritara Aati Kaierua, a devoted father and Kiribati fisheries observer, died in mysterious circumstances on the high seas in the Pacific, leaving his family heartbroken and searching for answers.


Desperate seafarer jumps from drugs-bust bulker after weeks of detention

Crew member rescued by colleague from Panama-flag Debi in the port of Paradip. The third engineer of a bulker held for weeks in India as part of a drugs probe has been rescued after jumping from the ship.


MSC Captain Pleads Guilty to Being Drunk as Ship Arrives in UK

The master of an MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company containership pleaded guilty in a UK court yesterday to operating his vessel while intoxicated.


Global Unions launch toolkit to support LGBTQI+ workers under ILO C190

18 January, 2024In a step forward for workplace equality and safety, Global Union Federations (GUFs) have launched a comprehensive Toolkit for LGBTQI+ workers. This initiative aligns with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 190, targeting violence and harassment in the workplace, which came into force on 25 June, 2021.


Promoting Internet Connectivity as a Vital Seafarer Need: A Call for Change

Internet connectivity has emerged as an essential pathway to wellness at sea, a recent survey reveals. The 2023 SEAFiT Crew Survey shed light on the ongoing complaints about inadequate connection, urging the maritime industry to take action. As a response to this pressing issue, SAFETY4SEA is launching a petition, calling on industry stakeholders to join the cause for free Internet at sea.


Iran releases Greek crew member of tanker seized in Gulf of Oman — owner

ATHENS, Greece – One crew member of an oil tanker seized by Iran last week in the Gulf of Oman has been released and is on his way to Athens, the vessel’s Greek owner said Thursday. Eighteen Filipinos and one Greek were on the St. Nikolas, which is now anchored near the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.


Seafarers’ safety must be enhanced in Red Sea, shipping industry says

LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Countries in the Red Sea region need to enhance security to protect seafarers at risk as attacks on merchant shipping worsen, industry officials said on Thursday.

Attacks on ships by Yemen’s Iran-allied Houthi militia since November have slowed trade between Asia and Europe and alarmed major powers in an escalation of the war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants in Gaza.


First seafarer casualty will ‘massively change’ Red Sea dynamic, warns Columbia’s Mark O’Neil

Shipowner and manager explains how risk assessment must also include seafarers’ perception of Houthi threat. Columbia Group chief executive Mark O’Neil believes the Middle East disruption caused by Houthi attacks will not be long-term. But he also warned that the first crew member casualty would change the picture completely.