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Stranded on ships, 200,000 seafarers struggle in virus limbo

first_imgMental strain The ordeal has taken a toll on the mental health of many seafarers, with reports of some taking their own lives.In one case, a Filipino worker died of “apparent self-harm” on the cruise ship Scarlet Lady as it anchored off Florida in May, according to the US Coast Guard.Shipping industry groups have expressed their concerns about “suicide and self-harm” among workers in a joint letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who said last month some seafarers have been “marooned at sea for 15 months”.An International Labor Organization (ILO) convention widely known as the Seafarers’ Bill of Rights limits a worker’s single tour of duty to less than 12 months.The strain is also being felt by families waiting at home.Priyamvada Basanth said she did not know when she would see her husband who has been at sea for eight months on a ship owned by a Hong Kong company.”The government is not even doing anything,” said Basanth, from the southern Indian port of Kochi.”I just want him to come home.”Lala Tolentino, who runs the Philippine office for a UK-based seafarers support group, said they had been swamped by “hundreds” of pleas for help from stranded workers since March.”They want to know what will happen to them, where they are going. Will they be able to get off their ships,” she told AFP.Many of those stuck onboard completed their tours more than four months ago and were exhausted, the ILO said last month.For Duseja, who comes from the northern Indian city of Dehradun at the foothills of the Himalayas, the end of his ordeal is in sight.”I’m still on the ship,” he told AFP in a WhatsApp message last week.”But mentally, I am feeling slightly better because I’ve been told that I’m finally getting off the ship mid-August.” UncertaintyPhilippine luxury cruise ship technician Cherokee Capajo spent nearly four months on ships without setting foot on land due to virus shutdowns.The 31-year-old had barely heard of COVID-19 when he boarded the Carnival Ecstasy in Florida in late January.Soon, a number of Carnival-owned cruise ships were stricken with severe outbreaks — including the Diamond Princess in Japan.After the Ecstasy passengers disembarked in Jacksonville on March 14, Capajo and his colleagues were forced to stay on board for the next seven weeks.Finally, on May 2, the ship sailed to the Bahamas where Capajo says he and 1,200 crew members were transferred to another boat that took them to Jakarta before arriving in Manila Bay on June 29.He wanted to “kiss the ground” when he came ashore nearly two weeks later after finishing quarantine.”This could probably be the hardest part of my experience as a seaman because you are not sure what will happen every day,” Capajo told AFP via Facebook Messenger last week, as he endured a second quarantine near his hometown in the central Philippines.”You worry if you’ll ever come back home, how long will you be stuck on the ship. It’s difficult. It’s really sad.” Filipinos account for around a quarter of the world’s seafarers. About 80,000 of them are stranded because of the pandemic, according to Philippine authorities. “Mentally, I am just done with it… but I’m still holding up because I have no other option,” Duseja, 27, told AFP via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger in late June as the Indian-owned cargo vessel he works on floated near Malaysia.Duseja, one of roughly 30,000 Indian workers unable to leave their ships, had extended his seven-month contract a few months before the pandemic struck.”The last time I stepped off from this 200-meter  ship was in February,” he said.Seafarers typically work for six to eight months at a stretch before disembarking and flying back to their home countries, with new crews taking their place. Topics :center_img But as the deadly virus whipped around the world and paralyzed international travel, that was suddenly impossible.Underscoring the growing urgency of the situation, more than a dozen countries at a UK-hosted International Maritime Summit this month vowed to recognize seafarers as “key workers” to help them get home. Indian ship worker Tejasvi Duseja is desperate to go home after months stranded offshore by coronavirus border closures and lockdowns that have left more than 200,000 seafarers in limbo.From engineers on cargo ships to waiters on luxury cruise liners, ocean-based workers around the world have been caught up in what the United Nations warns is a growing humanitarian crisis that has been blamed for several suicides. Many have been trapped on vessels for months after their tours were supposed to end as travel restrictions disrupted normal crew rotations.last_img read more

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Aussies name huge 26-player group with eye on UK tour

first_imgUNCAPPED trio Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith and Josh Philippe are among a preliminary list of 26 players named yesterday by national selectors as Australia’s men’s team looks towards a return to on-field action.Australia’s next assignment is yet to be confirmed, although Cricket Australia and the England & Wales Cricket Board are in discussions about a limited-overs series in the UK in September.With that in mind, selectors have identified 26 players of interest, a large group that will help cover a range of contingencies for a possible England tour, which will likely be played in a bio-secure ‘bubble’, meaning replacement players won’t be able to be drafted in.A final squad will be named if and when the tour is confirmed.Other notable names on the list of 26 are Glenn Maxwell, who hasn’t played for Australia since October, as well as batsmen Travis Head and Usman Khawaja, who have recently been out of favour in white-ball cricket.Paceman Andrew Tye has also been named despite not being offered a state contract by Western Australia for this season.Victoria’s Peter Handscomb and veterans Shaun Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who were all part of Australia’s World Cup campaign last year, were all overlooked while WA pace duo Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff were not considered due to injury.Other players of note to have not been named are Test quick James Pattinson, recent ODI and T20 squad member Ashton Turner and domestic stars like Cameron Green, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Ellis and Jono Wells.Ben Oliver, CA’s Executive General Manager of National Teams, said while officials are still working through the logistics of touring England, the announcement of a 26-man group of players gives everyone some much-needed clarity.“The ECB are a long-standing and valued international cricket partner and we are doing all we can to give the tour the best possible chance of taking place,” he said.“We continue to work with the ECB and government agencies and a decision on the tour will be made in due course.“In the meantime, the identification of a preliminary list will enable us to work with players and states more directly on the preparation for the tour in the hope it can proceed.“The health and wellbeing of players and staff, along with our commitment to public health within our communities, remain our utmost priority.”A short tour consisting of three ODIs and three T20s was originally scheduled for this month but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.If the tour goes ahead, it would likely require players and coaches to be quarantined in hubs during the series – like the England and West Indies players are currently – while members of the touring party may also need to quarantine when they return to Australia.“This preliminary list covers the contingencies of playing One-Day Internationals and T20 Internationals in bio-secure hubs with the likely prospect of not being able to bring in replacements should the tour proceed,” selector Trevor Hohns said.“The preliminary list includes several exciting young players who have recently excelled at state level and in the BBL. These emerging players are those we would like to develop further as we believe they have a bright future in Australian cricket.“The preliminary list also has a view towards the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup and in the longer term the 2023 ICC World Cup.”Australia’s preliminary squad: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Michael Neser, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, D’Arcy Short, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.(Cricket.comau)last_img read more

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Anthony Joshua Trains on World’s Highest Boxing Ring

first_imgThe Challenge saw almost 800,000 participants commit to 30 minutes of activity for 30 days and take part in a packed calendar of sporting events with over 1,500 free workout classes and 75 pop up fitness locations across the city.Launched by the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the initiative was designed to encourage Dubai’s citizens and residents to embrace a more active lifestyle and take advantage of the huge range of sporting facilities across the city.The Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs) is a luxury hotel located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the third tallest hotel in the world, standing at a height of 210 metres (689 ft.) above ground. The iconic edifice is to Dubai, what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Ring is located 689ft above sea level atop Dubai’s Burj Al ArabNigerian-born British world heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua, has put his weight behind Dubai’s drive to become the most active city in the world, as he took part in a vigorous training session on the iconic helipad of the Burj Al Arab.The stunt saw Joshua follow in the footsteps of other sporting greats, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Roger Federer and Andre Agassi as he entered the world’s highest boxing ring.Dubai is putting physical activity firmly on its national agenda following the launch of the Dubai Fitness Challenge earlier this month.last_img read more

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