Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Merchant ships left as main lifeline to desperate migrants

From an article by Seatrade Global

It is one thing for a coastguard cutter, with a relatively low freeboard, large crew trained in emergency operations to cope with a refugee boat packed with distressed people. It is something rather different for a large merchant ship, with a long climb onto its deck and a tiny crew, to provide succour to 200 or 300 desperate souls.

The fact that many ships this year on passage through the Mediterranean, have done just that, their crews showing both seamanship and humanity, has been insufficiently recognised. It clearly has not been easy and not a skill set that will feature in the training of the average merchant mariner. They have seen terrible sights, with corpses in the sea and in the bottoms of the refugee craft. They have found themselves facing great mobs of desperate people, far more than can be easily controlled.

They have to consider the safety of their own ships; think on the suitability of a laden chemical or gas carrier as a passenger vessel! They may have to face armed traffickers, while the refugees themselves might be carrying weapons, even infectious diseases. And as winter sets in, there will be no let-up, for every situation which set these armies of people on the move remains unresolved.

Full article quoted HERE


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

This infographic shows maximum ship sizes for the Panama Canal, Suez Canal, and the Strait of Malacca.

Credit World Maritime News




Friday, 19 September 2014

Drowning of 500 Migrants in the Med Deliberate, Survivors Say

Investigators from the International Organization for Migration said that they have obtained eyewitness testimony of a tragic incident in which as many as 500 migrants were drowned when their vessel was deliberately sunk in the Mediterranean. The survivors said that the traffickers turned violent when the 500 migrants they were escorting to Europe refused to switch to an unseaworthy boat.

Full article HERE

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The racism of disaster coverage

From 'The Daily Beast'

ROME, Italy — During the 10-day period from the time the wrecked luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia began to rise from its watery grave off the shore of the small Italian island of Giglio to the moment when it began its impressive journey to Genoa in a spectacular $1.2 billion salvage operation, a few hundred miles away about 260 migrants died at sea in separate shipwrecks off the coast of Sicily. In the 30 months since the Costa Concordia capsized, killing 32 people, nearly 2000 migrants have drowned in the  Mediterranean.

Full article HERE