Monday, March 8, 2021

Covid-19: The Kiribati sailors stranded 8,000 miles from home


Covid-19: The Kiribati sailors stranded 8,000 miles from home

Trade unions representing sailors have claimed that hundreds of thousands are still being prevented from travelling home because of Covid restrictions and border closures.

Some seafarers stranded in northern Germany haven’t been able to see their families on the other side of the world for nearly two years.

One hundred and thirty men from Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean who are living in a youth hostel say they’re now desperate to return.

Their government sealed off borders at the start of the pandemic to stop the virus getting onto the island, which has still recorded no positive cases.

Authorities there have told them they’re doing all they can to get them home.

Producer: Sira Thierij

Camera: Maarten Willems

Reporter: Nick Beake

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Wi-Fi trial at Port of Gladstone keeps seafarers connected onboard

An Australian-first initiative trialling Wi-Fi on cargo ships off the Port of Gladstone allows seafarers to connect up to 20 kilometres from the shoreline, boosting communication capabilities with their loved ones.

The project results from cooperation among Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) with Telstra, Insite Communications, the Port Welfare Committee and not-for-profit Gladstone Seafarers Centre’s.

With the assistance of Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) the Wi-Fi unit, which is the first of its kind in Queensland, will be utilised aboard vessels at anchorage.

The service, which would enable seafarers onboard to have much needed communications with loved ones, comes amid an unprecedented humanitarian crisis which has left thousands of seafarers stranded onboard due to pandemic restrictions, often beyond their contract limits.

Before the pandemic, seafarers were allowed to have shore leave and access wi-fi at ports while cargo ships were docked, but now the vessels have been forced to anchor several km offshore where a signal is non-existent.

Seafarers spend long periods of time at sea and away from home, this project which has been three-years in the making will now allow them to call home once they reach us here in Gladstone,...Gladstone Seafarers Centre General Manger, Jess Mullhall, said.

The project will undergo a six-month trial and, if it proves successful, it could be rolled out to other Queensland ports through not-for-profit Seafarer Centres.

Saturday, March 6, 2021


 Sailors Helpline

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Support Capt. Gordon Charles Pereira

The arrest of M.V Prabhu Daya’s master Gordon Charles Pereira has exposed the differential treatment meted out to Enrica Lexie and Prabhu Daya by the authorities.

Capt. Umberto Vitelli, of Enrica Lexie, the Italian vessel which shot dead two Indian fishermen, is still a free man almost a month after the incident.

The authorities are using two entirely different yardsticks. No action has been taken against the captain of the Italian vessel which committed a more serious offence. M.V Prabhu Daya was involved in an accident, but the Enrica Lexie incident was a deliberate murder by shooting.

There’s another aspect also. The crime committed by Enrica Lexie is higher in gravity compared to that of Prabhu Daya. Enrica’s was an outright murder. Experts in the shipping industry has pointed out that it was a pre-meditated killing for a reward. For every pirate killing they get a reward.

With pain we sympathise with the families of the fisherman who lost their lives in the tragic accident. We pray for the families and may god bless all the families who lost loved one.

Please register your support here by posting your valuable comments, suggestions and feedback.