Two piracy survivors back to sea

Organisation provides a valuable safety net for former hostages and victims of piracy.

Two piracy survivors back to sea

Since we started our Programme (MPHRP) we discovered that seafarers are resilient people. Also the ones who were attacked by pirates, taken hostage or captured. Most of them went back to sea after a period of recovering from the trauma. They were assisted by their families and friends and only a few needed extra counseling or therapy. Very few decided, for obvious reasons, to look for another job ashore.

However, a small number of seafarers faced greater problems of getting re-employed. After a period of more than 1000 days in captivity, companies were very reluctant to offer them jobs. Fear of the risk that they would not be able to act as professional seafarers kept them ashore. No-one can predict the future and that uncertainty kept those survivors jobless. Slowly they went from the Hell of Captivity into the Hell of Release. After the joy of being free again they faced serious problems with their loved ones. Why? They could not care for their families because they were not able to earn money. They slowly became victims of the pirates again…

MPHRP offers a continuum of care to all affected by piracy, from preparation through first emergency response to aftercare. First we thought that our mission was completed when the released seafarers arrived at the airport and went to their homes. But quite soon we learned that after the recovery period at home another task was waiting: rehabilitation. Only when a piracy survivor has picked up his life by a decent job and is making money for his family can he reconstruct his life again. The trauma of the piracy period never disappears out of his life, but he knows how to handle it. Most of the piracy survivors gained extra wisdom and are an example for their colleagues.

As said, a few did not succeed and fortunately we were informed in order to be able to offer our help. MPHRP became the tool of many partners in the maritime world to deal with humanitarian aspects of piracy. That is why we contacted shipping companies and requested them to employ that small minority of survivors still in need of employment.

We are proud to let you know that recently we managed to get two survivors back to work at sea: one Pakistani and one Ghanaian. It is impressive that two shipping companies gave them a chance to show that they were fit for work again by setting aside the fear of the risk. In short: those companies CARED, by showing humanitarian quality and not thinking only of money. We really appreciated the kind gestures of Geocean and “M” International Pvt (LTD) to provide job opportunities to them on board ship. This will definitely end the prolonged worries and subsequent trauma.

Chirag Bahri, MPHRP Regional Director South Asia, while thanking the industry, said “Most of the seafarers affected by maritime piracy in South Asia have re-joined maritime life and have been provided with job opportunities by the shipping industry. The industry has recognised and supported those affected with humanitarian considerations. This has immensely helped piracy affected seafarers to start a new living and be able to support their families.”

Because the industry cares by adding humanitarian quality, not only to the lives of the affected seafarers but to the maritime industry as a whole, MPHRP is very THANKFUL on behalf of those once affected, but now regained their dignity!


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