Seafarer Voices: Piracy on the High Seas

press release
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A YouTube video series describing pirate attacks.
 
Among discussions of anti-piracy measures in the Gulf of Aden and special courtrooms in the Seychelles and Mauritius, the maritime industry has begun to broach a gentler, less politically hot topic in the wake of 237 pirate attacks off coast of Somalia in 2011. What happens to seafarers, held often for months on end, after release from a pirate hijacking? Their untold stories comprise part of a video interview compilation by the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI)—the first installment released today on YouTube—to give voice to seafarers held captive by pirates. (View videos at http://smschur.ch/seafarervoices.)
 
 

While conducting research for its clinical study of the effects of piracy on seafarers, SCI has heard from many detained by pirates off the coast of Somalia. Those who survive hijackings tell of harrowing encounters and unshakable memories. “Piracy takes a terrible toll on seafarers and their families,” says the Rev. David M. Rider, SCI's President and Executive Director. “Many suffer in silence.” 
 
 

Seeking to break the silence, SCI asks seafarers to share their experiences, recording their first-hand accounts of pirate attacks in video interviews. The seafarers relate stories of mental and physical torture, intimidation of both them and their families and drug abuse by pirates while on board. “Those who agree to speak on camera describe something most of us cannot even imagine,” says Rider.  
 
 

SCI seeks to provide seafarers a platform for sharing in and contributing to the dialogue on post-piracy care. Douglas B. Stevenson, Director of SCI’s Center for Seafarers’ Rights, points out that in the past others have paid scant attention to piracy’s effects on seafarers. “But that’s changing,” he says, “and through the publication of these videos, we hope to add to that change.” 
 

Stevenson believes that through this collection of stories, seafarers will find they are not alone. “Piracy has always captured public imagination—most of which is romanticized,” he says. “We are trying to show the real human impact of piracy through seafarers’ own words.” 
 
 

Stevenson also hopes that openly talking of experiences helps to normalize candid discussion of seafarer mental health issues. He identifies frequent stigmatization of mental health care and believes it prevents seafarers from seeking the benefits of therapy and treatment. “By not talking publicly about the effects of piracy, we contribute to the silence. It’s time we speak out.”
 
 

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Madsen to Chair Norway’s Research Council Executive Board

Henrik O. Madsen appointed chairman of the executive board of the Research Council of Norway   DNV GL president and CEO Henrik O. Madsen was appointed as chairman

Port of Houston Expecting Record Year

The Port of Houston Authority is expecting 2014 to close as a banner year for the port, with 34 million tons of cargo handled through November, Executive Director

Hapag-Lloyd Completes CSAV Merger Capital Increase

Hapag-Lloyd completed the planned capital increase of EUR 370 million (approximately $452.5 million) as part of the business combination with the Chilean shipping

Education/Training

San Jacinto College Breaks Ground on New Training Center

San Jacinto College has broken ground along the Port of Houston for its new 45,000-square-foot Maritime Training Center.   At the site of 3700 Old Highway 146 in La Porte,

Damen Shipyards Galati wins Dutch Romanian Award

Damen Shipyards Galati has been presented with the Dutch Romanian Business Award for its Corporate Social Responsibility plan, particularly the Group’s community investment initiatives.

Lowrance Renews Insight Genesis College Cup

Lowrance®, a world-leading brand in fishing electronics since 1957— announced today the renewal of its Insight Genesis™ College Cup. In its second year, the

Maritime Security

Damen Outfitting First of Nine Bahamas Patrol Boats

The first of nine Damen Stan Patrol 3007s ordered by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force has arrived at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem in the Netherlands for outfitting.

USCG on Cuba Policy Changes

The U.S. Coast Guard missions and operations in the Southeast remain unchanged. The Coast Guard strongly discourages attempts to illegally enter the country by taking to the sea.

NASSCO Opens Bremerton Repair Facility

General Dynamics NASSCO celebrated the grand opening of its new location in Bremerton, Wash., yesterday. The facility will support the company’s recently-awarded contract to repair and maintain U.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1525 sec (7 req/sec)