While a number of crew abandonment cases have been closed this week, there are few signs that this terrible maritime scourge will abate.
Eliza Ader, co-founder of UK-based Periplous, a general-purpose open source research and mapping blog that has been tracking crew abandonment closely in recent months, said 11 new cases have been reported in the first weeks of 2021.
Iran, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates, the usual location of crew abandonment, top the locations of recent abandonment cases.
In the last week, some horrendous long-running cases have been solved.
The crew of an Alco Shipping tanker who had not set foot on dry land for nearly four years after being abandoned aboard their ship, which subsequently ran aground off the United Arab Emirates, are finally returning home to see their families.
The crew of the 5,000-ton Iba (pictured) has paid more than three years of arrears and will be repatriated next month.
Separately, a nine-day hunger strike on a Palmali Shipping tanker moored in Beirut finally paid off, as the crew were put on flights home on Wednesday and offered $114,000 to cover part of their lost wages, less than 40% of what they are owed. Some had not been paid for 15 months.
Palmali was one of the largest carriers in the Volga-Don basin and the Caspian region. In 2018, the company was declared bankrupt with the opening of bankruptcy proceedings.
In March last year, Azerbaijani-Turkish businessman Mubariz Mansimov Gurbanoglu, founder of Palmali, was arrested in Turkey, accused of involvement in the coup attempt to overthrow the Turkish president as early as 2016.
A dozen of his ships remain marooned in ports around the Mediterranean with around 150 crew members missing hundreds of thousands of dollars to be paid.
Below is the latest Periplous map showing current crew abandonment cases around the world, including those in the official International Labor Organization database, as well as other vessels identified by Perilous researchers.