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Ukraine crisis update: what comes next for seafarers?

As the situation in Ukraine worsens, seafarers have already suffered the effects of the crisis and more is yet to come

With things almost at a stand-still over the Ukrainian crisis, things are not looking good for seafarers. Just recently, Russia had announced their intention to create a humanitarian corridor for merchant vessels, allowing those stuck in the region since the crisis began to leave. However, things are not that simple.

According to reports, the corridor will be open from 8am to 7pm about 20 miles southeast of Ilyichevsk port of Ukraine. What complicates the situation, are the mines that have been planted and are drifting at sea. This makes the corridor even more dangerous, as vessels only have a limited time to travel out of the mine-infested region. So far, there had been no signs of movements from the vessels, based on traffic data.

Previously, reports have seen more than 1,000 seafarers from over 20 countries stuck onboard their vessels. There had been at least 2 seafaring casualties and more accurate figures are being confirmed, according to the International Chamber of Shipping’s Secretary General Guy Platten.

More seafarers feeling burnt out
Morale within those affected by the crisis is at an all-time low. For seafarers who had been stuck in the Ukrainian port region, not only do they have to watch out for cross-fire between the two warring sides, they also have to grapple with dwindling supplies. Because of the situation in Ukraine, supplies for seafarers stuck on board are further down the list of priorities for those on land.

Tensions between Russian and Ukrainian seafarers are also rising. As the situation drags on, seafarers of both nationalities had seen a breakdown in the sense of camaraderie they had felt at the start of the crisis. This was also sparked by the feeling of being unable to do anything to help their families and friends back home, as most of the seafarers are stuck on their vessels, either by contract or being unable to arrange their return home.


Crewing Online Media Team
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