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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Seafarers News

16 May 2024

No Shortage of Good Ideas to Address the Mariner Shortage

(Photo: Christopher Bosch / Military Sealift Command)

The U.S. mariner shortage continues to be a strategic national security concern for all maritime industry stakeholders. So what can the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) do to address the problem?Subcommittees on Readiness, and Seapower and Projection Forces on the “Posture and Readiness of the Mobility Enterprise.” Both Administrator Phillips and Gen. Van Ovost focused on the mariner shortage as a key readiness concern. Gen Van Ovost stated, “The U.S. maritime industry is confronting manpower shortages that create a national security risk.

12 May 2024

AMSA: MLC Complaints Decreased in 2023

© Denys Yelmanov / Adobe Stock

Complaints about breaches against the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) on ships decreased in 2023, compared to the previous year, the Australia Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA) latest report on seafarer welfare shows.The report records an 18% decrease in complaints to AMSA about breaches to the MLC, down to 214 complaints in 2023, from 261 complaints in the previous year.Of the complaints received in 2023, breaches of employment conditions were the most common, such as issues with wages

09 May 2024

Rule Change Aids US Mariners' Return to Sea

© Igor Kardasov / Adobe Stock

A rule change is making it easier for experienced U.S. mariners to return to sea after time away from the industry.A new policy letter from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) temporarily extends the renewal grace period for a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC), commonly referred to as a Coast Guard license or credential, from one year to six years, lessening the burden for seafarers seeking reentry into the maritime workforce.The move has been welcomed by the U.S. maritime and offshore industries

29 Apr 2024

IMO Finalizes Guidelines on Fair Treatment of Seafarers

Source: IMO

The IMO's Legal Committee met in person for its 111th session at IMO Headquarters in London from April 22 to 26 April 2024, and finalized guidelines on the fair treatment of seafarers detained on suspicion of committing crimes.These are to be applied where seafarers may be detained in a jurisdiction other than that of the seafarers' nationality on suspicion of committing crimes during the course of their employment on board a ship.The objective is to ensure that seafarers are treated fairly during any investigation and detention by public authorities

21 Apr 2024

IMO Legal Committee to Discuss Seafarer Abandonment

Source: IMO

The Legal Committee of the IMO will meet for its 111th session at IMO Headquarters in London from April 22 to 26, 2024. The Committee deals with any legal matters within the scope of the IMO, including issues relating to liability and compensation, fair treatment of seafarers and the registration of ships. This meeting will discuss:1. Abandonment of seafarersSeafarer abandonment happens when shipowners fail to fulfil obligations to seafarers related to timely repatriation, payment of outstanding wages or salary

11 Apr 2024

Ukrainian Seafarers Experiencing Increased Levels of Depression and Anxiety

© Genya / Adobe Stock

Ukrainian seafarers are experiencing increased levels of loneliness and depression amid fears of conscription if they return home as the war enters its third year, seafarer charity Stella Maris warns.Stella Maris regional port chaplains for Southampton and Southern ports, Charles Stuart and Gregory Hogan, who make multiple daily ship visits report Ukrainian seafarers are under increasing strain.“The initial stresses have been replaced by something else,” Hogan says. “At first

26 Mar 2024

OCIMF Updates Drug and Alcohol Guidelines

Source: OCIMF

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) has published an updated information paper, Guidelines for the Control of Drugs and Alcohol in the Maritime Industry (2024).The paper aims to provide general guidance and recommendations for the maritime industry (operators of tankers, barges, offshore vessels and terminals associated with the ship-shore interface) in developing and implementing controls for the use of drugs and alcohol.In the guidelines, drug and alcohol use includes the use of prescribed and over-the-counter medication

12 Mar 2024

Philippine Seafarers Who Survived Houthi Red Sea Attack Arrive Home

(Photo: U.S. Central Command)

Eleven Filipino seafarers arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday nearly a week after they survived a Houthi missile attack off Yemen.They were crew members of the Barbados-flagged, Greek operated merchant ship True Confidence which the Houthis attacked last week, killing three sailors, including two Filipinos. The migrant workers' ministry said in a statement the 11 survivors received government help on arriving in Manila.Mark Anthony Dagohoy, a crew member on True Confidence, said it was difficult to recall what they went through

28 Feb 2024

The Mission to Seafarers Names Rouch Secretary General

Peter Rouch (Photo: The Mission to Seafarers)

Maritime welfare charity The Mission to Seafarers announced Dr. Peter Rouch has been named as its next secretary general, succeeding Revd. Canon Andrew Wright, who will retire from the role in September this year, after almost 12 years of leading the organization. Rouch has been appointed to the role by the board of The Mission to Seafarers. He will join the Mission on July 1, enabling a period of handover between himself and Wright.Tom Boardley, chairman of The Mission to Seafarers, said, "We are delighted that Peter is joining the Mission and look forward to welcoming him in July.

28 Feb 2024

Saudi Arabian Company Abandons Crew Across Multiple Vessels

(Photo: International Transport Workers’ Federation)

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) said it has received many reports about withheld pay from individual seafarers working on eight Bahrain-registered vessels owned by Saudi Arabian company Hadi H Al Hamman Establishment. The company, which lists Saudi Aramco among its customers and was buying brand new ships as recently as 2018, has not paid seafarers for more than five months in some cases, the ITF said. One seafarer reported dangerously low levels of food

26 Feb 2024

US Coast Guard Announces New Merchant Mariner Credential

Example of the new certificate size one page merchant mariner credential (Image: USCG)

The U.S. Coast Guard announced a new merchant mariner credential (MMC) set to launch on March 1, 2024, marking the first comprehensive revision of the mariner credential in nearly a decade.The Coast Guard is the exclusive source of U.S. MMCs, which are required for U.S. mariners who serve on commercially operated vessels such as passenger boats, tug and barges, offshore supply vessels, and deep draft ocean going cargo vessels throughout the nation and internationally.The Coast

21 Feb 2024

ICS Publishes Anti-Bullying Principles

© Eugene / Adobe Stock

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched a set of industry principles for establishing effective measures to combat and eliminate harassment and bullying in the maritime sector.The principles have been published against the backdrop of a report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) – alongside Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF) and Gallup – on experiences of violence and harassment at work. The first of its kind global survey and analysis benefitted from insights of 74,364 respondents in employment across a range of sectors in 121 countries and territories.

19 Feb 2024

Seafarers Can Refuse to Sail Through Red Sea as Houthis Step Up Attacks

© Alexey Seafarer / Adobe Stock

Seafarers have the right to refuse to sail on ships passing through the Red Sea in a new industry agreement as the situation escalates and further vessels are attacked by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis, a labor union and industry groups said on Friday.The Houthis have targeted commercial ships with drones and missiles in the Red Sea since mid-November in what they describe as acts of solidarity with Palestinians against Israel in the Gaza war.Seafarers remain in the firing line

30 Nov 2023

Philippine President Skips COP28, Focuses on Seafarers

Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (still from Facebook video message)

Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has skipped COP28 in Dubai to personally address “important developments” in the hostage situation involving 17 Filipino seafarers.He is convening a meeting to facilitate the dispatch of a high-level delegation to Tehran, Iran, with the aim of providing necessary assistance to the seafarers.Marcos has assured the Filipino people that the government is doing all it can to ensure the safety of the 17 Filipino seafarers taken hostage by Houthi rebels in Yemen.Yemeni rebels seized the cargo vessel Galaxy Leader and took hostage its 25 crewmembers

29 Nov 2023

Red Sea Attacks Spark Safety Concerns for Seafarers

(Photo: Screenshot from video shared by Yemeni Armed Forces)

Commercial ships face increasing dangers at sea after armed groups have attacked and seized vessels in waters around the Red Sea and off the coast of Yemen, adding to perils for seafarers, shipping officials said on Wednesday.An attempted hijacking of a commercial vessel in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday appears to have been carried out by armed Somali pirates and not Yemeni Houthis, despite the firing of missiles from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen afterwards, the Pentagon

13 Nov 2023

IMO/ILO Conference on Work at Sea Highlights Collaboration

Source: IMO

The Joint IMO/ILO Conference on Work at Sea held on November 13 involved the sharing of best practices, views and experiences on: ensuring the rights of seafarers and fishers; identifying gaps in the current regulatory framework, including in relation to responsible management; and exploring how governments, industry, IGOs and NGOs can collaborate to improve the relevant international maritime legal framework.In his closing remarks International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Gilbert F.

26 Sep 2023

250,000 Seafarers Have Pay Boosted by 6%

Seafarers courtesy of ITF

Seafarers’ unions and maritime employers have signed a four-year agreement that will see significant wage increases and dozens of workplace protections and improvements for over 250,000 seafarers’ serving on more than 10,000 vessels.The International Bargaining Forum (IBF), the forum that negotiates the world’s largest global collective bargaining agreement, agreed terms for the 2024-2027 IBF Framework Agreement last week in Berlin.Seafarers covered by the agreement will receive a 6% wage increase over the next two years (4% wage and compensations increase from January 1

24 Aug 2023

AMSA Bans Liberian-Flagged Vessel Over Wage Theft

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier MSXT Emily from Australian waters for one year, after finding apparent serious issues of wage theft and seafarer mistreatment onboard.Following a tip-off from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), AMSA inspected the ship at the Port of Hay Point, in Queensland, and found evidence of several violations of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.The vessel had been chartered by K-Line to load a cargo of coal for discharge in Japan.Seafarers onboard the vessel had not been paid in accordance with their Seafarer Employment Agreements: four contained apparently-forged signatures from employees

16 Aug 2023

MarTID: Take the 2023 Survey on Maritime Training Practices

Copyright AytugAskin/AdobeStock

Vessel owners/operators, Maritime Education and Training Institutes and Seafarers are encouraged to participate in the 2023 MarTID survey of maritime training practices.The survey is designed to take only 20 to 30 minutes to complete, but the insights are invaluable in the quest to learn more granular detail on the current focus and future shifts in the way in which seafarer training is delivered, measured and funded globally.The Maritime Training Insights Database (MarTID) is

02 Aug 2023

Izmail Seafarers’ Centre in Odesa Hit in Drone Attack

Images courtesy of ITF Seafarers Trust

The ITF Seafarers Trust has reported that the Izmail Seafarers' Centre was hit by a Russian drone attack in the early hours of August 2.The centre, previously funded by the ITF Seafarers Trust, has been housing families made homeless by bombing in other parts of the Odesa, Ukraine. Despite the significant damage done to the building, there were no casualties as resident families and staff working at the 24-hour facility had already taken shelter in the basement.Oleg Grigoryuk

20 Jul 2023

Jamaica and Canada Sign Reciprocal Seafarer Recognition Agreement

Signing the Reciprocal Recognition Agreement (left to right): Joanna Manger, Director General, Marine Safety & Security at Transport Canada, and Rear Admiral (ret’d) Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica. (Source: Maritime Authority of Jamaica)

Jamaica and Canada have signed a Reciprocal Recognition Agreement to enable seafarers from the two countries to work on ships sailing under the Jamaican or Canadian flags.The agreement was signed by Joanna Manger, Director General, Marine Safety & Security at Transport Canada, and Rear Admiral (retd) Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica.Brady commented: “This is a milestone for both our countries’ seafarers and indeed our respective maritime and transport administrations.

11 Jul 2023

Odfjell Promotes First Female Captain

Lise Henriksen (Photo: Odfjell)

Odfjell announced it has promoted its first female captain in the history of the 109-year-old company. The Norwegian chemical tanker company said Lise Henriksen has been named captain of the Bow Sky."On behalf of Odfjell, I congratulate Lise on her well-deserved promotion and thank her for paving the way for women in the maritime industry,” said Odfjell  CEO Harald Fotland. "Her expertise and leadership abilities have led her to this prestigious role – a historic appointment at Odfjell and in an international maritime field currently dominated by men.

27 Jun 2023

Global Campaign Launched to Boost Seafarer Recruitment

Nirmalesh Chandra Nirmal, 2nd Officer, Fleet Management Ltd, Hong Kong, SAR, who features in the film

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched a video titled ‘An Adventurous Spirit’, signifying the start of a global campaign to address the seafarer shortage.‘An Adventurous Spirit’ is the result of collaboration between ICS and its network of members to produce a resource that the shipping industry can use in its recruitment efforts. The 10-minute video was produced using first-party testimonials gathered from current seafarers who shared insight into what their roles entail