Houthis’ Ship Seizure Is A Threat To International Trade
Unless Iran reins in its proxy force, the US and its allies may have to turn to the playbook that defeated piracy off East Africa a decade ago. By James Stavridis (Bloomberg...
By Ann Koh (Bloomberg) Some shipowners have begun to ask crew to abandon their ships stuck off the coast of Ukraine, as Russia’s invasion of its neighbor reached the end of its second week.
M.T. Maritime has evacuated 22 Filipino seafarers from its oil-products tanker MTM Rio Grande, leaving the vessel unmanned and moored at Nika-Tera port in Ukraine, the company said in an e-mailed reply to queries. The crew are currently in Romania waiting for a flight back to the Philippines, it said.
Ukraine’s ports closed on February 24, when Russian troops began their incursion. At least five out of 140 ships stuck in the country’s waters have been hit by explosions, killing a Bangladeshi seafarer.
As intense fighting and shelling continues across cities in Ukraine — a key grains exporter — ship owners are grappling with dwindling food supplies and the possibility of a protracted war, according to people with knowledge of ships in the area. That’s forcing some owners to ask their crew to abandon vessels, they said.
More than 1,000 seafarers are estimated to be onboard ships stranded in Ukraine, some with cargo still onboard. The vessels — which include tankers, bulkers, cargo ships and a container vessel — aren’t able to leave because there aren’t harbor pilots to guide them out amid danger from missiles and underwater mines.
“We understand some ships may have been laid up,” said a spokeswomen for the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an agency of the United Nations, without providing further details.
© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.
Join the 96,846 members that receive our newsletter.
Have a news tip? Let us know.
Maritime and offshore news trusted by our 96,846 members delivered daily straight to your inbox.