RightShip takes on ILO’s abandoned ship database

In a potentially huge breakthrough in the fight against crew abandonment, RightShip, the third party ship vetting service, has just taken the database created by the International Labour Organization and the International Maritime Organization, which lists abandoned ships, with a view to adding the details of these vessels to the company’s data sets.

A link to the ILO database has now been made available from today at the bottom of the Splash homepage.

“We are taking action on crew abandonment and this will be reflected in our vetting process,” a spokesperson for the Melbourne-headquartered organisation told Splash.

RightShip’s data on vessels is used by some of the world’s largest shippers to select the best possible ships for their charters.

Leading figures in shipping have this week called for greater transparency on the issue of stranded seafarers with more naming and shaming of owners in a bid to stamp out the problem that has seen thousands of crew stranded in dire conditions onboard this decade.

After a week of campaigning a number of other solutions have been presented. The secretary-general of the IMO, Kitack Lim, urged port and flag states to cooperate more to help fight the scourge, something that appears to have been heeded with news from the UAE that serial crew abandonment offender Varun Shipping from India has been banned from calling at the country.

Elsewhere, Splash contributor Captain Manjit Handa, a bulk carrier master, suggested a crew fund should be drawn from IMO member states, along the lines of the fund convention for oil pollution damages, in order to repatriate crews.

Another Splash contributor, James Wilkes who heads up maritime consultancy Gray Page, mused on Twitter about the possibilities of authorising the expedited sale of ships by Admiralty marshals to settle unpaid wages of crew and costs of their repatriation.

The other big breakthrough from the week came on Monday with news that eight of the world’s largest shipmanagers have pledged not to do any business with companies who have a recent past of crew abandonment.

Splash will be formulating a number of proposals in discussions with key stakeholders with a view to getting them seen and debated at the IMO in the coming months.

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. What something seemingly small can accomplish…but it’s adding the voice of others. Great job SPLASH!

  2. When I explain the phenomena of “crew abandonment” to persons outside the marine community, the response is always a startled “WHAT?”. Their is an urgent need to speed up the Admiralty Court proceedings from month or years, to 30 days maximum, so that the asset value of the abandoned ship can be realized, and the crew paid their earned wages.

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