Mariners Denied Shore Leave When Owners Fail To Pay For Visas

The safe and efficient operation of a boat is greatly enhanced when mariners are given adequate shore leave. These furloughs are also proven to be beneficial to seafarers’ general wellbeing. Many sailors, however, are routinely denied shore leave by their bosses, because they do not have visas.

The Maritime Labour Convention of 2006 (MLC) requires shipowners to cover the cost of seafarers’ visas, and ships registered in countries that have adopted the MLC must have what is called a Maritime Labour Certificate before they can sail. That certificate is only issued to shipowners who meet MLC requirements.

What becomes abundantly clear is that many shipowners are ignoring MLC regulations by refusing to pay for their crews’ visas. Research has determined that almost 80 percent of ship workers who are refused shore leave due to lack of visa work on ships registered in countries where the MLC is in practice.

It is appalling to learn that our ship workers are being treated this way. We cannot expect safety in any industry if we do not afford employees the most basic respect. Fatigued workers are more prone to making mistakes, and mistakes on a working ship can lead to injuries and even death. It is time that the Maritime Labour Convention’s guidelines were more strictly enforced.

Below, Carolyn Latti explains some of the finer details of maritime law:

Do I Need an Experienced Maritime Attorney?

If you have crewed a ship and been denied basic rights or injured, you may be entitled to file suit. The first thing you should do is speak to an experienced maritime attorney. At Latti & Anderson, we have over 50 years of practice and a deep understanding of maritime law. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you retrieve the compensation you deserve.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Nationwide Maritime Attorneys