Seafarers on vessels owned by companies such as Seatruck who are often employed from Eastern Europe or SE Asia do not only have to cope with poor wages they also face arduous conditions.
In 2008 a vessel the Seatruck vessel MV Riverdance registered in the Bahamas and engaged on a regular cross Irish Sea route was driven ashore on Blackpool beach after its cargo shifted and its engines failed. Thankfully due to a herculean rescue effort by Coastguard, lifeboats, the RAF and nearby merchant vessels all on board were saved (link):
The crew of the Manx flagged vessel MV Jokulfell, owned by First Baltic Shipping, were not all so lucky. Of the 11 Estonian and Russian seafarers only five were rescued when its cargo also shifted and it capsized off the Faroe Islands in 2005.
At the time Celtic League criticised the SAR effort and the failure to involve an RAF Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft which was available and the two hour time frame for a Faroe Islands based helicopter to reach the scene.
Related links – deaths on Manx registered vessels:
Image: Seatruck MV Riverdance driven ashore on Bloackpool beach – it was subsequently scrapped
Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch
Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.