If you don’t talk about it, it didn’t happen

Take a look at The Human Cost of Maritime Piracy 2012, produced by Oceans Beyond Piracy. http://bit.ly/iHpA7M

Stand out facts. Seafarers who have suffered a pirate attack or captivity have to sign gagging clauses and quit-claim agreements before they can get their back wages. Even then less than a quarter are paid what they are owed immediately. And many owners refuse to cover all personal effects losses.

It takes us back to the Battle of the Atlantic in the 1940s. Then some shipowners stopped the wages of seafarers from the day their ship was torpedoed. Time in the ocean and being rescued and brought home was not to the shipowner’s account.

Now we have owners who expect their crews to trade the ship in dangerous waters but who don’t provide an armed guard and who then don’t pay their crews when they get captured, or who force them to sign a no-claim clause before they pay them, slowly.

Lessons on how to avoid and manage ransom situations are lost in this way. Seafarers and their families are traumatised twice.

You couldn’t imagine that, could you? Read The Reluctant Pirate for the story shipowners don’t want you to know about.

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