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7 Months After The Global Shutdown Mauritian Crew Are Still Stranded on MSC ships

Submitted by kgnadmin on

It is hard to believe that after 7 months since the global shutdown of the cruise industry there are still crew members waiting to be sent back home. While majority of the crew were repatriated long time ago, about 103 of our fellow crew members from Mauritus are still stranded on 3 MSC cruise ships in Brazil. They have patiently waited for a positive news from their Government, MSC cruises and their recruiting Agency Oceangoers to return home and be with their loved ones.

“We are 25 Mauritian crew member onboard MSC Musica near the port of Santos Brazil and there 2 more ships for the MSC Poesia and MSC Seaview. Poesia 29 Mauritian crew Seaview 49 Mauritian crew Its been 7 months we are stuck on the ships” reports one of the stranded crew members.

After countless cancelations due to travel restrictions, specific demands by the Mauritius government and limited flight availabilities, their hopes were raised for September 16 when a flight was approved by Mauritius to receive these crew members. However, the news came up that this might not happen and they will not be sent back home on this date. The Mauritian recruiting agency informed the crew that there was tentative repatriation flight mid-September and they are working closely with all relevant authorities to make their return home a reality. This is the letter send to the crew by the Oceangoers agency:

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Alain Malhurbe CEO of Island Shipping who has years of experience and connections in the maritime sector said that among the crew there is a seven month pregnant woman. “She is without medical assistance, without common treatment to any woman in such condition."

The group Crew Strong, advocating for crew member rights who voiced this issue reported the following:

“The govt has approved Sept flights to bring Mauritians home. Crew stranded in Brazil need to transfer to Dubai. They have held crew in Brazil and onboard longer than any other cruise company. They have lied about not being able to take a ship out of port in Brazil and sail crew to Europe. Oceangoers and MSC have zero regard for crew lives. It’s time to take a stand. It is time to demand action. Mauritian crew in Brazil are called upon for a manifestation tonight and while it should remain peaceful it must be loud. It must capture the attention of people everywhere.”

In order to raise awareness Mauritian crew members stranded on the MSC cruise ships took to the open deck where they will sleep next to their packed suitcases until they are sent back home. They will not move from here till they get a final confirmation about flight details. It's an alarming situation, people are desperate and they hope to get a quick response.

And as the crew members have patiently awaiting their return home to their loved ones while unable to work or have an opportunity to make a pay check to support their loved ones one of the reasons they boarded the ships in the first place they decided to take a stand and peacefully protest their current situation. The crew members made banners pleading to be sent back home and seeking form answers of their prospect to return home from MSC.

MSC is slowly imitating operations of their ships in Europe and starting to generate revenue and while the company is at a loss for the duration of the global cruise shut down when does the responsibility towards these crew members requests and pleads become a priority to be taken seriously before crew members start considering alternative legal actions? Please crew members from all over the world come and support your crew members for their timely return home so we make sure that they are not forgotten another 7 months.

24 hours after the group Crew Strong group put tremendous pressure rising the voice on behalf of the Mauritian crew members MSC Cruises send a update to the crew saying that the company is still planning to book crew flights.  As per the announcement here, there are 2 groups to be repatriated and limited seats on the plane. The crew says that this is still not confirmed, and will sleep on the open decks until they are finally repatriated and board the plane.