Seafarers Organizations Respond to Hanjin Collapse

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Published Sep 23, 2016 9:21 PM by The Maritime Executive

The nonprofit aid agency Mission to Seafarers and the union Nautilus have been working hard to help mariners affected by the collapse of Hanjin Shipping.

Prior to filing for receivership, Hanjin operated about 100 vessels with roughly 2,500 embarked crew. At least 30 of those ships remain stranded at sea, Hanjin says. Ports have denied entry to some for fear that Hanjin will be unable to pay fees; for others, the limiting concern is that the ships would be seized by creditors at the dock. In both cases these ships remain at sea, awaiting a solution. Other Hanjin ships remain stranded in port due to vessel arrests.

“If the ships continue to be blocked from entering port, there could be a welfare crisis for these seafarers, as vessels will quickly run out of food, fuel and essential provision," said Mission to Seafarers spokesman Rev. Ken Peters. “Seafarers will be very anxious and their families at home will be concerned and distressed. The Mission to Seafarers has now issued a global alert to all our 200 port welfare teams to be ready to assist Hanjin seafarers when they come into port.”

Separately, maritime union Nautilus says that it has been providing advice and assistance to four British cadets who have been stranded onboard one of Hanjin's container ships, the Hanjin Louisiana. 

Ruaridh Hanna, David Gorniak, Graeme Deacon and Gavin McPhail, cadets from Clyde Marine Training, are among the thousands of seafarers who have been unable to leave Hanjin vessels at sea. 

The four were due to get off on September 2, and Nautilus says that it has been working with Hanjin, the flag state, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the training providers to find a way for the cadets to return to shore. 

"These young cadets cannot be expected to be adrift while all this plays out in the courts," said UK Member of Parliament Drew Hendry, who is assisting with the case. "The time has come for the UK government to say enough is enough – it is vital that every effort is made to protect these students and other affected seafarers from the nations of the UK."

The Louisiana's last available AIS position, received September 20, showed that she was stationary in international waters near Singapore.