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On the tenth anniversary of the Swanland tragedy RMT calls for stronger seafarer safety standards

Seafarers’ union RMT paid tribute to the memories of the six crew members who lost their lives when the 34-year old cargo ship Swanland sank off the North Wales coast on 27 November 2011.

RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch said:

“The tenth anniversary of the loss of the Swanland and the deaths of six Russian seafarers is a time to reflect on the causes of this tragedy, many of which remain significant features in the shipping industry.

“Swanland was registered under the Cook Islands flag of convenience and this trend of flagging ships on registers with the lowest standards continues, as do seafarer deaths in the Irish Sea.

“The MAIB investigation into this tragedy found that it was caused by catastrophic structural failure but no one from the Cook Islands register, the ship management company, classification society or shipowner were ever held to account for allowing a sub-standard, 34-year old ship to sail between North Wales and the Isle of Wight, with fatal consequences for six crew members.

“Swanland was a terrible example of the fact that seafarers work in the most dangerous link in the logistics supply chain. It also reminds us that today’s seafarers continue to be subjected to dangerous levels of fatigue and mental ill-health as a result of the crew change crisis triggered by the pandemic.

“We pay our respects to the victims of the Swanland tragedy and restate RMT’s commitment to securing the highest maritime safety standards for all seafarers working in UK and international waters.”

Ships Montly - January 2024

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