Shipping company under fire for hostage inaction

A Danish shipping company has had complaints filed against it for allegedly neglecting its duties in connection to six of its sailors who have been held hostage by Somali pirates since 12th January.

The Danish Maritime Officers’ organisation (DMO) has made the claims against Shipcraft and its CEO, claiming they have contravened safety at sea and working environment rules by not attempting to win the release of the crew.

“What we need is a watchdog to make sure that companies fulfil their obligations to crews that are taken hostage, and it is in this light that the complaint has been filed,” DMO head Fritz Ganzhorn told Politiken. He added that any company is required to make sure all crew members return home safely.

Ganzhorn continued, stating that the DMO “fully understands that hostage situations require extreme discretion. In the concrete case, however, the company appears to have used the silence to cover over not doing anything.”

“Shipcraft also seems to have given the foreign ministry the impression that the company was both working to free the hostages and providing psychological help for the families. This latter, at least, has certainly not happened, even though Shipcraft’s own trade organisation has offered extensive help.”

“This is a wake-up call for the authorities that someone has to keep an eye on whether a company is doing what it should, or needs help to move forward,” Ganzhorn concluded in the Politiken article.

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