Seafarer Found Dead in Galley

A Filipino seafarer was found dead onboard the Malta flagged MV Elbella at Marsaxlokk Freeport in Malta last Sunday night (17th of May). The seafarer was found in a pool of blood with several stab wounds and two kitchen knives near his corpse.

2015.05.19 - Seafarer Found Dead in Galley

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Life at Sea Sailing with the MLC

We had arrived in China at just about the same time as Typhoon Utor. Which was a bit of a problem, since our cameraman Damien Riunaud and I had travelled to Shenzhen to board the Singapore-bound APL Boston container ship and produce video footage documenting life at sea. The trip was meant to coincide with the coming into force of the ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention (MLC, 2006), also known as the Seafarers’ Bill of Rights.

2014.02.23 - Life at Sea Sailing with the MLC Figure 3

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ITF Report on Challenges Faced by Black Sea Seafarers

For some time concern has been growing about the frequency of serious accidents and the repeated appeals from seafarers in difficulty on vessels trading in the Black Sea area. Black sea trade is characterized by older, smaller ships, often trading beyond their expected economic life in circumstances that can undermine safe and secure employment practices. Since the entry into force date (20 August 2013) of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) is getting nearer, we would like to highlight a report that has been prepared from seafarers’ unions from the Black Sea area affiliated to the International Workers’ Federation (ITF).

2013.08.13 - ITF Report on Challenges Faced by Black Sea Seafarers Figure 1

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Abandoned Seafarers Incident in the UK

A usual case of the abandonment and her crew is highlighted within this post. The story took place in the UK during February 2013, less than a year before the official entry into force of the Maritime Labour Convention. Foreign seafarers were left stranded at Sussex after their shipping companies flounder on the brink of bankruptcy. Angry, confused and disillusioned crew members of various nationalities including Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian, were living in their vessels for months on end without being paid wages and without an idea of when they can return home.

2013.07.17 - Abandoned Seafarers Incident in the UK

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Memoirs of a Seaman

The following video is the “trailer” of a book to be published recording the memoirs of a Greek seaman. Capt. Nicholas Raissis memoirs are an ode to the simple things in life. Onboard and onshore he tells his story of achievements and failures, heroic times and moments of personal humiliation with wit and honesty. Capt. Nicholas nephew Panayotis Raissis is publishing the autobiography of Captain N.H. Raissis, a hard man who sailed the world for 40 years and lived to tell the tale. Anyone wanting to support the campaign of  publishing the memoirs of Capt. Nicholas can find more information in

Thirteen Seafarers Stuck on Abandoned Ship Appeal for Help

In about two months from now the Maritime Labour Convention will enter into force, nevertheless even as the MLC entry into force date draws near, there are still incidents of abandoned seafarers such as the one mentioned in this post. Last April thirteen Russian seafarers stuck on a ship that has been abandoned and anchored off the coast of the Phillipines since the owner company went bankrupt have appealed to the governor of Primorye region for help in returning home.

2013.06.26 - Thirteen Seafarers Stuck on Abandoned Ship Appeal for Help

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Will ILO MLC Deliver as Promised?

ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), the so called “ILO Super Convention” is expected to enter into force on August the 20th as the 4th pillar of Maritime Regulatory Compliance along with SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW. As the clock is ticking towards the deadline let’s see if the MLC will deliver the promised land by examining some key issues involved.

2013.06.06 - Will ILO MLC Deliver as Promised

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HIV Among Seafarers

Because of the nature of their work seafarers spend long periods of time away from their families and therefore represent a group at risk for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection. Unsafe sex, drug addiction, or procedures such as tattooing play a relevant role in HIV transmission. HIV cannot be acquired through ordinary occupational and social contact. Due to the fact that nowadays ships spend less time in ports, the crew is rarely allowed to leave the ship. The “tourism element” (including sex tourism) is, thus, rapidly shrinking in contemporary seafaring. Nevertheless, the sex industry in many ports has adapted to recent developments by  introducing “sex catering” or organised visits of sex workers to anchored ships and therefore the risk of getting infected with sexually transmitted diseases still remains.

2012.12.01 - HIV Among Seafarers Figure 1

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Study on the Psychological Impact of Piracy on Seafarers

In early October Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) released a study on the psychological impacts of piracy on seafarers. While incidents of piracy decline off the Horn of Africa, an inestimable number of seafarers continue to bear the psychological impact of captivity by pirates.

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Seafarers’ Internet Job Application Scams

POEA issued an announcement in early October regarding proliferation of employment seafarers’ job scams in the internet. More applicants use the internet to find jobs and with the popularity of internet-ready gadgets, and job search and social networking websites, they become easy victims of illegal recruiters and job scammers.

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