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

People & Company News

Largest Vessel to Call ICTSI, Rijeka

Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (AGCT), International Container Terminal Services, Inc.’s (ICTSI) container handling facility in the Port of Rijeka, Croatia,

MOL President Reports Slack Performance

MOL President, President, Koichi Muto reported that the performance of the company was slack. Presenting his report he stated:  I am sad to report that our business performance fell short,

Holland America Line Wins Sparkie Award

At a March 5 reception at the Seattle Waterfront Marriott, Holland America Line was presented with a Sparkie Award by the United Way of King County, Washington.

Education/Training

Focus on Environment at Suny Maritime College Anniversary

The State University of New York Maritime College’s 140th Anniversary Speaker Series presented a panel discussion on March 26 in the College’s Maritime Academic Center.

Great Lakes Losing Ice

The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory reports ice cover for all of the Great Lakes combined at around 52%, thanks to milder temperatures and gusty winds over the past several weeks.

MARIN, Cruden, Tree C Technology Forge Small Ship Simulator

Severe vibrations and shocks of up to 9G over an average of 1000 hours per year. That’s what instructors of fast small ships such as the Fast Raiding, Interception

Maritime Security

China's Artificial Islands in South China Sea Raises U.S. Concerns

China has been building artificial islands on reefs in the many disputed areas around the South China Sea. The unprecedented land reclamation currently being conducted

Going Nuclear in Indian Ocean

As India, Pakistan and perhaps China develop their naval nuclear forces, they will enter increasingly murky waters, says a report published in the National Interest.

US to Test 'Submarine' Drone That Can Launch from Ocean Floor

USA’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is testing a drone that can hibernate on the ocean floor for years at a time before being launched to the

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
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: 0.1583 sec (6 req/sec)