Yes, you’ve read that correctly.
After 7 months; there are still that many trying to get home.
They continue to work 12 hours shifts, seven days a week, with no end in sight.
Some have now been at sea for 17 months without a break, well beyond the 11-month limit set out in the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).
Captain Hedi Marzougui, in command of a vessel between December 2019 and May 2020, appealed on September 24th to the United Nations General Assembly, and to governments to act to allow seafarers to come home.
“Not knowing when or if we will be returning home brings a severe mental toll on my crew and myself,” Captain Marzougui said. “I would encourage each and every one of you to think of how you would feel, if you had to work every day, for 12 hours, with no weekends, without seeing your loved ones, and trapped at sea. Now add that you have to do that with no idea of when you will be repatriated.”
Despite multiple pleas to governments to designate seafarers as essential key workers and to facilitate their travel, the number of those whose contracts have been extended by several months has continued to increase.
Wear a mask; when amongst any others!