In 2013, the 24-hour multi-lingual non-profit helpline for seafarers listed dealt problems from over 6,400 seafarers and their families.
The SeafarerHelp is run by the not for profit organization, the International Seafarers’ Welfare Assistance Network (ISWAN). It recently produced its 2013 Annual Review for SeafarerHelp where an increase of 35% in new cases was found, as well as a 47% increase in the number or seafarers assisted more than the number in the previous year. Moreover, it was found that the most common problems were unpaid wages, problems with repatriation, contractual problems, sub-standard conditions on board and health issues.
Most of the contacts that SeafarerHelp receives are referred on to specialist organisations for direct assistance. These include the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and welfare organizations such as Mission to Seafarers, Apostleship of The Sea, and the Sailors Society. Other agencies that assisted included national embassies, harbor authorities, and medical service providers.
One problem dealt by the SeafarerHelp team was when the pregnant wife of a Ukranian seafarer called for a complaint that her husband had not been paid for over three months and that she badly needed the money to prepare for the impending birth of their child. It was later found out that her husband and the rest of the crew had been abandoned in South Korea by the ship owner. The case was referred to the ITF and was successfully resolved.
Roger Harris, executive director of ISWAN said “The SeafarerHelp team did a great job in 2013 working 24 hours every day of the year assisting seafarers. We wish to thank our funders and other supporters for helping us provide this vital lifeline for seafarers all over the world.”
For any maritime assistance, either to help for funding or call for help, don’t hesitate to contact SeafarerHelp.
Source: Maritime Executive