India takes steps to address abandoned seafarers

Amid continued, almost daily reports of crew abandonment worldwide, India’s directorate general of shipping has set up a call line for seafarers in distress.

The directorate general of shipping communication centre has been created to report all complaints and grievances of Indian seafarers.

Anyone who senses Indian seafarers are working in incorrect conditions can contact the new centre via this email – – with the directorate general then promising to follow up any complaint with relevant authorities.

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 was amended in 2014 to implement requirements for financial security – in force since January 18 this year – to cater for support to abandoned seafarers and safeguarding up to four months’ owed contractual wages and entitlements.

Nevertheless, Splash continues to be inundated every week with reports of dire conditions onboard many abandoned vessels around the world.

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.


  1. The Mission to Seafarers is regularly dealing with abandoned crews around the world. If crews require immediate support, then we are advising them to contact their local chaplain via

    Already this year in the UAE alone we have been involved in over 200 welfare cases ranging from abandonment to non payment of wages.

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