Imagine being stuck on a cruise ship while it’s docked in a port thousands of miles from your home. Imagine that you’re quarantined because of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and have little to no contact with family and friends. And imagine the prospect of that isolation and solitude continuing for many more days, weeks or months.
This is the life of cruise ship crewmembers at the moment. Per the Miami Herald, there are “at least 42,000 workers remain trapped on cruise ships without paychecks, and some still are suffering from COVID-19, three months after the industry shut down.”
As Maritime Executive points out, while 42,000 crewmembers are still isolated on cruise ships, at least a 100,000 have been ‘repatriated’ back to their countries of origin.
“The number reflects an extraordinary global repatriation effort involving ship-to-ship transfers and transoceanic crew-only voyages. Just a month ago, the paper estimated the number of cruise crewmembers stuck at sea at 100,000 seafarers worldwide.
With limited access to seaports and to air travel, many cruise lines have deployed their own ships to carry crewmembers home. In Manila Bay, more than 20 cruise ships gathered late last month and started the 14-day onboard quarantine period required for disembarking Filipino crewmembers.”
It’s been reported that at least 6 Trinidadian crewmembers aboard Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas have tested positive. The question that has to be asked is, why has it taken so long to remove crewmembers from their ships – and why has it taken so long for Coronavirus testing and health care treatment to begin on these ships?
Sadly, crewmembers are facing a litany of issue related to their quarantines – isolation, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, stress disorder, harassment and other complications.
Crewmembers continue to reach out to cruise ship injury law firms like ours because they’re concerned about their legal right and have questions related to their work contracts. Most crew are under skilled and under educated which makes it more difficult for them to know what protections they may be afforded while working for the cruise lines.
Can an attorney help cruise ship crewmembers? Crewmembers should be able to receive accurate and unbiased information about their rights and legal protections. Our firm has represented many crewmembers over the last 35 years.
At Waks and Barnett, aka, CruiseLawyers.com, we’ve been speaking with both crewmembers and passengers from many cruise lines who are victims of cruise ship accidents, harrassment, sexual assault or who have been impacted by Coronavirus. If you want to speak with an attorney, we’re here to help. Our contact information is: 1-800-905-2891. Call today for a free review of your claim.