Arvind’s story outlines the challenges of being a seafarer during the COVID-19 pandemic - uncertainty over pay, long working days, and months at sea isolated from their families.

Our vessel was detained in Russia... The reason for detention was outstanding wages. The owner abandoned us, and we were stuck for almost five months.


Local authorities took care of the crew’s basic needs, but Arvind and his crewmates were worried about their families back home and were distressed that they couldn’t reach the shipowner. They contacted The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), one of our delivery partners, who registered the crew as abandoned and contacted the relevant authorities.

ISWAN is a membership organisation which works to promote and support the welfare of seafarers all over the world.

"We were able to recover our wages after nearly a year, three months of pending wages have been recovered out of four."

With their help, the crew’s wages were eventually paid, and they were repatriated in mid-2020. With all authorities working together and by applying pressure on the owners, Arvind and the crew were finally paid a further three months’ wages in September 2021.

Arvind’s story is just one example of the many seafarers in need of welfare support. The Seafarers’ Charity provides funding to ISWAN and other organisations who offer immediate, essential aid to seafarers and their families who are directly involved in sudden or unforeseen crises.

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