Missing Oleg Igorevich Koval

The Koval family
The Koval family

Published Jan 27, 2018 6:04 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.K.-based charity Human Rights at Sea has released a Family Impact Statement on the case of a missing Ukranian seafarer, Oleg Igorevich Koval.

The Statement is provided by Maryna Koval Victorovna, wife of the 35 year old Ukranian seafarer who went missing on from the Malta-flagged bulk carrier Maria G on December 18, 2017. The vessel was sailing in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean at the estimated time of the incident about 100 miles from the Azores Islands, Portugal.

“Our two children, a son of nine years and a baby of three months are waiting for their father,” she said.

Mrs Koval was informed of her husband's disappearance by her husband's recruiting agency, a day after. “According to the information I have in my disposal, the vessel informed about the missing crew one day later, after having returned back to the estimated locus of the incident for SAR operations. In more detail, my husband did not show up on the morning watch. They looked for him on board the vessel for about six hours and a distress signal was sent out. The vessel returned to the original position of the alleged disappearance and following a short search and rescue operation, in which five to six ships and a plane were involved, the ship continued its journey along the route to the Mediterranean Sea."

Now, more than a month since she was made aware of his disappearance, Mrs Koval is desperate to find her husband who she believes may have been picked up by another vessel. “I appeal to any one who has information and to any organization that could help me. Our two children, a son of nine years old and a baby of three months are waiting for their father to return. The Ukrainian government has not performed any action in helping finding my husband.

“I  have asked hundreds of people, sent dozens inquiries to different offices, consulates, police, to the recruiting agency and to the shipowner, but to no avail. I have had no support from the shipowner company or the recruiting agency. My husband disappeared in international waters. 

“Where is he and what has happened? I believe that he might be still alive. I want him to come back home.”

The Missing Seafarers & Fishers Reporting Programme is a flagship program delivered to the international and maritime communities by Human Rights at Sea. It has evolved from the original concept of only reporting on missing seafarers, to now explicitly including reports of missing fishers. It is a privately funded program delivered through the generosity of international donors having been conceived in September 2013. It relies upon voluntary support to run and deliver on behalf of families who have lost loved ones at sea.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.