The SUR assisted a crew member of m/v Nox in repatriation

EQUINOX_.jpgCrew changes remain a challenge for a shipping industry. This is evidenced by a significant number of marine workers asking  the Seafarers' Union of Russia  to assist in signing off from the vessel. Recently the St. Petersburg office of the SUR has received one of such appeals: a crew member of the tanker Nox (IMO 9038531, Panama flag, 1993- built) told that though his contract had ended the company was in no hurry to repatriate him. On the contrary, the company offered the seafarer to extend the contract of employment. The Russian seafarer was not ready for this: he wanted to return home.

The seafarer addressed the SUR on the 5th of September. Subsequently, SUR representatives contacted the Greek shipowner, their request bore fruit: already on September 8, the seafarer was delivered  by boat on shore in Nigeria and settled in a hotel. Then he was tested for Covid-19 and went home to Russia.

The SUR reminds: according to the Maritime Labor Convention, if the employment contract expires while the ship is abroad, seafarers are entitled to repatriation. Moreover, repatriation  should be arranged without any financial costs on their part and regardless of any circumstances. However, today it  becomes more challenging task for shipowners to return Russian seafarers home: a significant reduction of international flights to Russia, rising airfare, the closure of many borders even for Russians with Schengen visas - all this makes repatriation much more difficult. Russian seafarers make up 10.5% of the world's merchant marine workforce, and problems with their crew change could have implications for supply chains around the world.

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