The Disgrace of Seafarer Abandonment

Seafarers are still very worried about the fact that they could be abandoned by unscrupulous shipowners.

Obviously, this is one of the worst situations they can find themselves in. Gripped by the fear of being far from home, without the means to get back. Held in a kind of limbo knowing that the only way they will get paid is by staying onboard. This is something which is a concern to many who shared their thoughts in the Seafarers Happiness Index.


Some who spoke to us had experienced vessel owners withdrawing from their responsibility for the crew, failing to meet their obligations in regard to crew wages, victualling of the vessel and repatriation. They said it was one of the most distressing and depressing times they have ever experienced.

Seafarers who suffered abandonment said that they began to get worried as things were not being paid for, and their wages were increasingly late, and then simply were not arriving onto the ship or into their accounts back home.

For others, on vessels trapped in faraway ports, they said, “Our ship shut down, the fuel for generators runs out and conditions onboard begin to be very serious, with food and water running out too.


For those who haven’t been through abandonment, they still know that it can and does happen. They are very aware that when an owner cuts and runs the crew are left to fend for themselves.

This is a fear which grips those who work for manning agents or owners which they haven’t known before. So, all too often seafarers are taking jobs on trust, and they are very worried that things could go wrong. When abandonment does occur, seafarers are very grateful to have the support of unions and know that they also have seafarer welfare organisations to fall back on. Without these the bad could get very much worse indeed.


#28Days #Seafarers #Shipping Also check out the Mission to Seafarers website to learn more that the charity does to address many of the issues raised across these challenges facing shipping.

The Seafarers Happiness Index needs the support of those at sea, and of the shipping industry. So if you would like to be a part of driving positive debate and change – complete the survey or share your thoughts with us.

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