As at the end of May 2022, 247 vessels remain abandoned at multiple locations around the world, along with 3,623 seafarers cast adrift, unable to return home, said RightShip.
sing official sources, RightShip charted patterns on the nationalities of crew, locations of abandonment, vessel type and age, as well as logging the length of time taken to resolve abandonment issues, among many other data points.
The majority of seafarers known to be abandoned are from India, with 724 seafarers stranded in various locations around the world, closely followed by 368 crew from Ukraine and 318 crew from the Philippines, all renowned nations of seafarers.
The highest number of vessels left adrift is in the United Arab Emirates waters’, with 26 abandoned vessels, and when the data is sorted by flag state, Panama heads the list.
Vessels that are between 26 and 30 years of age see the highest number of abandonments, but surprisingly, 32 new ships sailing for fewer than five years have also been cut off.
According to RightShip, the most worrying aspect is the time that it can take to ‘settle’ an abandonment, as since 2004, there are 30 vessels where abandonments have been in dispute for more than a decade, with more than 400 seafarers still waiting for their cases to be closed.
On average, crew remained onboard ship for seven months before being repatriated, with the longest being a 39-month-long wait to go home.
The welfare of seafarers can no longer be ignored. When a ship is abandoned, if the crew leave the vessel it is far less likely that they will be paid, so they are forced to stay put, waiting, for months and sometimes years on end
Steen Lund, CEO for RightShip said.
What is more, Simon Grainge, CEO, ISWAN, informed that “in the last four years, ISWAN has been approached by more than 1,100 seafarers who have found themselves on abandoned vessels.”
Seafarers are often the sole earner in their families, and in cases of abandonment, the entire family has to suffer both an uncertain financial situation and great emotional stress. We are working with partners to the best of our ability to assist such seafarers and their families during this difficult time
According to the latest Crew Change Indicator, there is an encouraging global stabilization of the crew change situation. Namely, the number of seafarers onboard vessels beyond the expiry of their contract has decreased slightly to 4.3% from 4.5% in the last month, while the number of seafarers onboard vessels for over 11 months has remained stable at 0.3%.
These numbers remain very close to what has been reported since December 2021, confirming a stabilization of the situation.