The International Chamber of Shipping and others have released an open letter calling on United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to urgently prioritize the evacuation of 331 seafarers and 62 ships that remain trapped in Ukrainian ports. The 34 signatories, including the International Chamber of Shipping, NKY Line, the Union of Greek Shipowners, Danish Shipping, and seafarer charities, called the situation an ‘unacceptable risk to life.’
In February 2022, 112 vessels crewed by more than 2,000 seafarers were berthed in Ukranian ports across the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Since then, 1,700 have been safely evacuated and have been able to return to their families or return to their work of keeping global trade flowing. The remaining 331 seafarers from countries such as Bangladesh, Philippines, Turkey, Syria, China, Egypt, Lebanon, Greece, Indonesia, Ghana, India, Azerbaijan and Georgia, remain to maintain the safety and protect against environmental harm. No other industry have non-combatants in the area over a year on from the start of the conflict, as they can only leave when the ships leave.