Conditions onboard some ships in the North Sea described as ‘purgatory’

A Scottish government committee asked the UK Coastguard Agency yesterday to respond to safety concerns as trade unions have described conditions aboard some vessels operating in the North Sea as “purgatory”.

Jake Molloy, who works for transport trade union, RMT, said the conditions aboard some ships were “appalling”.

He said: “I have done International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) inspections on some vessels that have been flying the flag of convenience, and I know that the Filipino and Indonesian workers look upon us as the police arriving to save them from purgatory.”

Molloy demanded EU seafarers work in EU waters.

Falling oil prices have seen jobs in the North Sea be cut in a huge way recently.

Industry organisation Oil & Gas UK warned that 65,000 jobs had gone since the start of 2014, with further losses predicted.

The Scottish committee concluded that “short-term prospects, particularly for offshore workers, appear to be very difficult”.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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