There is no end for thousands of Greek sailors who are currently stuck at sea and cannot unload their cargo because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many countries still have their ports and airports closed, so they have been stuck at sea for many months.
There are an estimated 150,000 sailors trapped on their ships worldwide. Some of them have been trapped for more than 17 months, SKAI reported.
“We have a terrible bloating, difficulty sleeping. Without seeing a port, without seeing earth and sky for 10 months, it’s kind of like… You need strong nerves,” said Captain Joseph Markoutsis, who is stuck near Indonesia and hopes to return home in September.
Thousands of Greek sailors are in despair because their replacement by other crews is impossible due to the pandemic.
The testimonies of sailors who have been away from their families for more than 12 months are shocking.
Captain Giannis Gazis said: “Respect us as people, as sailors, our families. We are here for 15 months, others 14 months, 13 months, 17 months. It has been 4 months since the coronavirus broke out and the lockdowns in most countries of the world. That has broken us up.”
According to the World Maritime Organization, 120 to 150,000 sailors worldwide are trapped on their ships. Some of them for 17 whole months.
So many others are trapped in their homes and can not go to replace their colleagues and work.
Captain Thanasis Moschos stated: “What we are going through is something unprecedented, it is something we have not been trained in, we have not experienced. We are tired, both psychologically and physically, and many times we lead to human mistakes. And when one has reached the limits of human fatigue, you can not push him further.”
The Tsakos group called on the governments to cooperate and allow seafarers to bypass travel restrictions of each country.
The problem is mainly in China, Singapore, South Africa and the Emirates, where due to the coronavirus, crew replacements are not allowed.