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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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John Wildhack reiterates Dino Babers contract extension is ‘long-term’ at press conference

first_img Published on May 6, 2019 at 12:23 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] | @Schafer_44 Last Tuesday, a Syracuse athletics employee tweeted a graphic revealing Dino Babers’ contract length for the first time. On Monday, Syracuse director of athletics John Wildhack reiterated Babers’ contract extension is “long-term,” but that tweet, which listed the extension through 2024, was “inaccurate.” When asked directly if the contract extension was through 2024 as stated in the graphic tweeted last week, Wildhack said: “That tweet was incorrect. Inaccurate. Again, long-term extension.” Wildhack didn’t confirm the contract extension was longer than 2024, either. He did however note that recruits now can expect to play for Babers. The tweet also listed Carrier Dome renovations at $128 million, $10 million more than the number approved by the Syracuse Board of Trustees. Wildhack confirmed $118 million was the accurate number Syracuse is working under, not the $128 million tweeted.Wildhack also discussed ticket sales for Syracuse’s upcoming football season, noting that single-game tickets for SU’s Sept. 14 home opener against defending national champion Clemson have sold out.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFurther, more than 6,000 new season tickets have been purchased, up from around 2,300 a year ago, Wildhack said. The most season tickets SU has ever sold was 8,000 in 1998, Wildhack said. There are fewer than 4,500 packages remaining, according to an SU Athletics release and fewer than 300 left for first-level seats. The price for season tickets — $125 — stayed steady from last offseason.“We never had a conversation about raising ticket prices,” Wildhack said. “We provide great value.” Fans can still purchase three-game packages at a range of costs, including Clemson and two other games of their choosing. Packages with Clemson tickets are limited, Wildhack said.The burgeoning sales are no surprise to Wildhack after SU’s historic 10-win 2018 season.  “I think it’s clearly driven by success,” Wildhack said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Blake Griffin scores 31 as L.A. Clippers win at San Antonio

first_imgThe Spurs were 4 for 7 on 3-pointers in the third quarter, but only had a pair of 2-point field goals in the period, both coming in the final two minutes. SAN ANTONIO — Blake Griffin had 31 points and 13 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers rolled to a 105-85 victory over San Antonio on Saturday night, snapping the Spurs’ six-game home winning streak.Chris Paul had 20 points and Spencer Hawes scored 11. DeAndre Jordan added eight points and 19 rebounds while limiting All-Star reserve Tim Duncan to four points, which matched his season low.San Antonio went 10 for 30 on 3-pointers and was outrebounded 56-36.Kawhi Leonard scored 24 points for the Spurs and Danny Green added 16, including five 3-pointers. San Antonio had won four straight over Los Angeles, but this time the Spurs were unable to match the Clippers’ quick pace.The teams combined to take 14 shots in the first 3 minutes. The frenetic pace better suited Los Angeles, which raced to an 11-4 lead that led San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich to call a timeout.Griffin scored 19 points in the first half on 8-for-15 shooting, sprinting the length of the floor for a series of layups, pull-up jumpers and just one dunk.San Antonio had five turnovers in the first quarter. San Antonio was 2 for 12 on 3s, missing six straight.Griffin had 10 points in the third quarter, including a pair of free throws with 43.9 seconds remaining that gave the Clippers an 84-65 advantage.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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