- Various organizations were trying to resupply the ships with essentials.
- The Black Sea … area is covered with mines.
- Until they are removed it is not possible to sail.
Food and medical supplies onboard over 100 foreign-flagged ships detained in Ukraine due to the crisis are running low, industry leaders said on Wednesday, with little movement on establishing a maritime corridor to allow them to sail out as reported by GCaptain.
Area of high risk
As the conflict escalates and the risks to merchant ships grow, London’s marine insurance market has expanded the area of high risk in the region.
This month, the UN’s shipping agency announced that it will seek to establish a secure maritime corridor for merchant ships and workers trapped between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
Off the coast of Ukraine, five cargo vessels were damaged by projectiles, one of which sank.
According to Guy Platten, Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Shipping, several foreign crewmen on board ships has been evacuated out of Ukraine.
However, because of the fighting, roughly 140 foreign-flagged vessels with over 1,000 seafarers from 20 nations are still unable to leave.
He told a virtual news briefing that “seafarers have become collateral casualties in the fight.”
According to Platten, fighting in the port city of Mariupol had left one Romanian ship with 20 sailors with only three days’ worth of supplies.
“It’s dangerous for them to leave the ship or for the ship to sail,” he added, adding that several organisations were attempting to replenish the ships with necessities.
According to Platten, at least two sailors were murdered as a result of the conflict, however exact details are still being verified.
As supplies diminish, international employees are experiencing “high levels of worry,” according to Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation union.
“We have to acknowledge that there is food rivalry depending on which ports along the coast you are at.” For some Ukrainians still defending their cities, “it’s literally a matter of life and death,” Cotton said.
“It’s understandable that the initial thought is not to replenish ships anchored by foreign nationals.”
Platten remarked that establishing a maritime route was “still a long way off.”
The crews of Angelecoussis Group’s two ships in Ukraine have been evacuated, according to Sveinung Stohle, deputy chief executive of the major Greek shipping business.
“What happens with our vessels remains to be seen,” he said separately at the FT Commodities Global Summit on Wednesday.
“There are mines all throughout the Black Sea… region.” It is impossible to sail until they are removed.
“As a result, it’s a very difficult scenario.”
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