Seafarers Forced to Collect Rainwater to Survive
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) claims to have heard stories that seafarers on board Blumenthal’s Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Lita are being forced to collect rain water with tarpaulins for drinking water after the ship ran out of potable water.
The ITF had alerted the Liberian flag authorities more than a week ago after an initial report that the vessel was running critically low on water.
“The fact that seafarers are being forced to collect rainwater in order to survive is an indictment on Blumenthal. Their diet is a bread and water, without the water!” said ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith.
“This systemic abuse of these seafarers’ rights is the dreadful reality of many flag of convenience ships and one that allows unscrupulous operators like Blumenthal to exploit workers’ most fundamental rights like access to clean drinking water,” added Smith.
ITF inspector and leader of the Blumenthal targeted operation, Sven Hemme said today: “Over the past six weeks, the ITF have exposed the exploitative conditions seafarers are forced to endure working on Blumenthal ships. Seafarers who are desperate for help.” He called on the Liberia to intervene.