Twelve crew members of the Panama-flagged cargo ship Yas have been repatriated after their vessel was arrested in April 2017 when it berthed in Aden, in conflict-ridden Yemen.
The crew, consisting of six Indians, five Ukrainians and one Syrian, contacted the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) for assistance following the arrest. The crew told Mohamed Arrachedi, an ITF inspector, that they had not been paid since March, had no provisions or fuel, and had been abandoned by the ship’s owners.
Additionally, the crew members were in a war zone, their passports were confiscated and there were no plans for repatriation.
ITF was able to work with its Yemen affiliate, the Labor Committee of Aden Container Terminal, which took up the crew’s case and worked for their safe repatriation from this war zone. The ITF assisted with hotel costs and pocket money for the crew, and arranged their flights home on humanitarian grounds.
“Repatriation was made even more difficult because of the closure of the country’s borders due to the current cholera outbreak,” ITF said, adding that the Aden union arranged for one group of seafarers to cross Yemen to an airport from where they were able to fly to Kenya and then Odessa and Mumbai, while the second group went by sea to Djibouti from where they flew back to India and Ukraine.