IMO ‘Invites’ Fair Treatment

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Apr 132011

As we know, the difference between the captain of an aircraft and the captain of a ship is that when something goes wrong the aircraft captain gets sympathy while the ship’s captain gets prison. New IMO agreements on fair treatment still face an uphill climb but there are signs of progress.

A draft assembly resolution aimed at promoting compliance with the 2006 IMO/ILO Guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident was agreed by the Legal Committee when it met for its 98th session.

The draft resolution invites member states to consider amending their national legislation to give full and complete effect to the Guidelines on Fair Treatment of Seafarers and invites governments to respect the principles in the guidelines when considering fair treatment of seafarers in other circumstances where seafarers are detained. Continue reading »

Filipino, Syrian Officers Charged in Bulgaria

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Dec 062010

Alessandro DP

Officers of two ships, a Syrian captain and a Filipino chief officer have been charged in Bulgaria following a collision in the Black Sea this week. Their documents have been seized, reports the Sofia News Agency Novinite.

The Syrian captain of the Karam I cargo ship and the Philippine chief officer of a Dutch tanker, the Alessandro DP, were charged with breaching naval transportation rules and causing the death of one or more people, the Burgas regional prosecutor’s office announced.

The two ships collided Monday, at about 5:40 pm local time 20 km southeast of cape Emine. The Karim 1 cargo ship, carrying scrap, and sailing under the Sierra Leone flag sank immediately after the collision. Five of its 10 sailors – an Egyptian and four Syrians – were rescued right after the clash, while another five were still missing after the search for survivors was called off on Friday.

There is minor damage to the Alessandro DP.

The Regional Prosecutor’s Office in the Black Sea city of Burgas is probing three possible causes for the clash – a technical failure on one of the ships, human error, or bad weather, with the most probable being human error.

Arrested Captain Goes Home

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Oct 052010

imageIndian news agency DNA reports that Captain Glen Aroza reached his home in Mangalore on Monday, 4 October, after languishing 17 months in a Taiwan prison.

Aroza was placed under arrest after his Panama-flagged crude tanker, Tosa, allegedly collided with Shingtong Cheng 86, a Taiwanese fishing trawler, killing two persons.

Besides the captain, a second officer from Bangladesh and a seaman from the Philippines were also arrested by the coastal police of that country on April 17, 2009.

It was also reported that Tosa had not collided with the trawler, but the boat capsized in the wake of the bigger vessel.

Continue reading »

Unfair Treatment of Seafarers – The Outlook

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Mar 142010

Cynics might suggest, with cause, that unfair treatment of seafarers is becoming mandatory in an increasingly anti-seafarer global atmosphere. Indeed,the United States has reserved to itself the right to treat seafarers unfairly and deprive them rights provided under the incoming code for maritime casualty investigation. Recent court actions in Hong Kong and South Africa increase the urgency of the debate.

In recent weeks BIMCO has published three key articles on these an other issues, which MAC is publishing with BIMBCO’s permission, edited only for style. They are a valuable summary of the issues faced by seafarers in trouble:


In a this three article series, republished with permission, BIMCO focuses on unfair treatment of seafarers, including the general trends observed in recent cases, as well as the implications for the seafarers involved. The series, published to mark the International Maritime Organization’s Year of the Seafarer, concludes with an overview of the international rules and guidelines dealing with fair treatment of seafarers

Recent cases of unfair treatment of seafarers appear to demonstrate a drift towards a stricter liability regime. Also, the cases observed have serious implications for the seafarers involved, notably in terms of long periods of detention and a number of “side-effects” of a more practical nature, as well as for the shipping sector as a whole. The shipping industry, as well as the international community, is aware of the potential implications and a number of measures have been taken to counter these problems.

Continue reading »

Fair Treatment Update

 IMO  Comments Off on Fair Treatment Update
Feb 052010


IMO Information Sheet No. 20 on information resources on the fair treatment of seafarers has been updated. It includes a wide range of materials covering  abandonment, personal injury to or death of
seafarers; criminalisation of seafarers in the event of maritime accidents including pollution incidents and shore leave for seafarers from a variety of sources and with internet links to available material.

Download a copy here