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Selling Death To Seafarers


The shipping industry is yet to recover from the tragic death of Cadet Palash Balsetwar and we hear Seaman Ranjit Singh (O.S.) is missing since 10th February 2016 from Busherh port in Iran. He was working on vessel SIAVASH-2 flying Iranian Flag.  The seafarer had been employed on this vessel through some non RPSL agency based in Mumbai. It has been learnt that the agency demanded and received payment of 150,000 Indian Rupees from the seafarer for employment on the ship. The seafarer was promised of high salary and good future prospects.

Capt Sanjay Prashar, M.D., VR Maritime, has been spearheading the campaign against the illegal activities of Non RPSL agencies, has informed us that assurance has been received from the ministry that immigration desk will not allow seafarers who don’t carry RPSL Agencies letter.

DG Shipping website gives approved companies called Recruitment and Placement Service License. Unscrupulous agents won’t be able to send seafarers if immigration check point only allows to send seafarers from RPSL agents. But it is important to know that not all RPSL companies use fair practices for employment of seafarers . More than 500 Indian seafarers have been affected in different parts of the world recruited through non RPSL agencies. The seafarers are promised good wages by many of these unscrupulous Non RPSL agencies but in reality they pay only 150 USD per month. The living conditions of these seafarers are pitiful and are not provided with proper basic life necessities. Even after completion of 1 year on board many unsafe ships, they are not signed off.

Says Mr. M.G. Siva “ Few agents only produce Letter of Guarantee, the candidate will be put in some vessel which is not the same one what mentioned in LG. This way seafarer end their life with pathetic ships.”

It’s time for all the stakeholders in the shipping industry to put collective efforts to eradicate such unauthorised and dishonest agencies who are making money through illegitimate route and selling death to seafarers.

Source: Capt. Virendra. N. Mishra / TST Newsdesk


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