Ukrainian Seafarer Lost at Sea

The U.K.-based charity Human Rights at Sea has documented the case of a Ukrainian seafarer that went missing on May 28.

The charity was told by the Ukrainian Marine Trade Union’s Federation that Oleksandr Chernyshenko went missing on the Panama-flagged chemical tanker Violet-1.

Chernyshenko is believed to have gone missing at 0330 local time while en-route to Port of Tokuyama, Japan. However, Human Rights at Sea was told that it was only at 1730 local time that same day that the vessel turned around to search for him. He therefore would have already been in the water for 12 hours before the alarm was raised.

On arrival at the Port of Tokuyama, it is understood that local authorities commenced an investigation, but to date little information has been made available to the family, says Human Rights at Sea Founder and CEO, David Hammond.

Human Rights at Sea is adding the case to its missing seafarers and fishers register. The aim of the register is to build an accurate international database detailing the status of seafarers and fishers missing at sea on a global basis. Hammond aims to raise international awareness about those lost by profiling individual cases to maritime authorities, flag states, governments, ship owners/managers, civil society organizations and the general public.

Prior to the register's establishment in 2015, there were no statistics kept on the number of people missing from the ranks of the 1.5 million registered seafarers worldwide, or of any of the large numbers of unregistered, trafficked or abused people caught up in illegal and unregulated maritime activities, including fishing.

“The drive to globally document missing seafarers and fishermen has been a slow process relying on voluntary support from international partners, availability of open source information and direct contact through the site with family members of the missing,” says Hammond. “More funds are urgently needed to further promote the work in this area, to refine the online offering in terms of multiple languages and to widely disseminate the awareness that such a valuable platform exists.”

So far the listing has around 240 individuals listed on the register.

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