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 August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

China Passes New Pollution Law, Will Cap Coal Consumption

Legislators have approved amendments to China's 15-year-old air pollution law that grant the state new powers to punish offenders and create a legal framework to cap coal consumption,

Marad Celebrates Deployment of Maritime Fuel Cell Project

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today celebrated the launch of field trials for the first prototype hydrogen fuel cell

Gazprom, OMV Meet on Establishing Nord Stream JV

At a Meeting held at the Gazprom headquarters between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Company's Management Committee and Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV,

Education/Training

Eniram Expands Training Services, Onboard and Onshore

Eniram Ltd, a provider of energy management technology and analytic services to the shipping industry, today announced the addition of in-depth training services

The Maritime Person of the Year

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s annual salute to ‘the person of the year’ this year spotlights McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. and its leadership team.

USN Observes Suicide Prevention Month

While September is Suicide Prevention Month, subject matter experts from the 21st Century Sailor Office's Suicide Prevention Office, OPNAV N171, say their goal

Maritime Security

Iranian Ship, Crew Escape Captivity off Somali Coast

An Iranian fishing vessel and its crew have escaped after being held captive for five months by Somali fishermen, maritime piracy experts said on Friday, but it

Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara,

Russian-Chinese Naval Drills End

The second phase of the Russian-Chinese Joint Sea-2015 naval maneuvers has officially ended outside the port of Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East, says spokesman

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.5047 sec (2 req/sec)