Seafarer’s Desperate Act: Suicide Attempt Amidst Unsettled Wages

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Sea Lion Shipping Co, a shipping company, has finally responded to warnings from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) about the welfare of its crews after a crew member attempted suicide. The company cited financial losses and the inoperability of its entire fleet as reasons for the disruption to its operations. The ITF demanded immediate action from the UAE maritime authorities after the crew member was transported to hospital for an overdose of painkiller tablets. The ITF criticized Sea Lion Shipping for shifting the burden of its failures onto its crews and failing to protect individual seafarers.

Sea Lion Shipping had previously sent remittances to the crew, indicating that their outstanding salaries would be paid, but no payment was made. The ITF also highlighted another ship, the Med Sea Fox, where the crew had not been paid for more than three months. Despite pressure from the ITF, only 10 out of 14 crew members were paid and repatriated, with the company replacing them with 10 new crew members who have also not been paid for over three months. The ITF called for Sea Lion Shipping to sell at least one of its ships to end its financial crisis and treat its seafarers with respect.

The ITF’s inspectorate coordinator, Steve Trowsdale, questioned how the situation had deteriorated to the point where a crew member wanted to take their own life. He criticized Sea Lion Shipping for behaving immorally and contrary to international law, and for the failure of the systems in place to protect seafarers in such situations. Trowsdale called on the company to take responsibility for its actions and treat its seafarers with the respect they deserve.

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