“Torture,” for crew members stuck on board of cruise ships

«Torture» pour des membres d’équipage coincés à bord de navires de croisières

«Torture» pour des membres d’équipage coincés à bord de navires de croisières

For some of the crew members stranded in the sea, the isolation is a kind of spiritual retreat, but for others, this forcible confinement is torture.

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22 may 2020 22: 30

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“Torture,” for crew members stuck on board of cruise ships

Leila Macor

Agence France-Presse

MIAMI — because of the coronavirus, hundreds of cruise ships have been detained at sea, with tens of thousands of crew members stuck onboard for two months. Some seek to make this isolation a kind of spiritual retreat, but for others, this forcible confinement is torture.

Three people reportedly committed suicide in recent weeks.

“It’s the same thing every day. It is difficult to stay sane,” says Ryan Driscoll, an American of 26 years who has not set foot on land for the last 80 days.

“You can see the land all the days. It is 200 meters away, but you can’t come in,” says the singer from the Seabourn Odyssey, a ship of the cruise company Carnival, parked in front of the Barbados.

On the 13th of march, the steamers have been ordered not to sail. Those who had of the passengers were able to disembark ashore at the end of complex negotiations with the port authorities, but they then returned to the high seas with their crew.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen. It does not answer us. We cannot see the end of the tunnel,” says Ryan Driscoll. “I miss being out on the land. Sometimes I feel like I’m in prison,” he says.

The companies have repatriated thousands of their crew members during these two months, but the process is slow and expensive, because of the Centers for control and prevention of diseases (CDC) require that they be transported on charter flights — assuming that their countries of origin will accept them.

In the united states waters alone, approximately 60 000 crew members were on Thursday aboard 90 ships, indicated to theAFP the u.s. coast guard.

“I’m afraid”

According to the psychiatrist Eugenio Rothe, this experience felt like a forced isolation, can be experienced as a “cut-off emotionally from everything that is important to the person, its family, its physical environment, geographical and social conditions”.

“There is a sense of abandonment, loss, and bereavement, who can then turn into depression and even lead to suicidal thoughts,” explained to theAFP that a professor at Florida international University (FIU).

These past two weeks, at least four crew members are dead (without being infected with the virus) : one of “natural causes”, which have not been disclosed, and three others in what appears to be suicide. Among these, two were thrown overboard.

“It is very disturbing to learn that, but it does not surprise me,” says Ryan Driscoll.

“There is a sense of abandonment, loss, and bereavement, who can then turn into depression and even lead to suicidal thoughts. ”


Eugenio Rothe, a professor at Florida international University (FIU)

Caio Saldanha, a DJ, brazilian 31-year-old has been transferred to boat by boat by the Royal Caribbean company, has presented a complaint before the office of the High Commissioner of united Nations for human rights for the “state of incarceration” that he undergoes in his eyes.

His complaint is particularly based on the fact that the company has been slow to sign a document required by the CDC to allow the landings.

Dozens of employees have expressed recently on board the Majesty of the Seas, holding placards accusers to Michael Bayley, the president of the company Royal Caribbean ship’s owner, reported the blog specialized Cruise Law News.

«Torture» pour des membres d’équipage coincés à bord de navires de croisières

“We can’t see the end of the tunnel. I miss being on the mainland. Sometimes I feel like I’m in jail,” said Ryan Driscoll.

AFP, Ryan Driscoll

More recently, other employees had started a hunger strike on the Navigator of the Seas, a ship belonging to Royal Caribbean, which has ensured that this conflict had been resolved.

“I fear,” said to theAFP, another member of the crew of the brazilian 52-year-old, who did not wish to give his name.

“I don’t want to die, but from my point of view it is only a matter of time, I’m going to die. We were abandoned, the people here will die,” he said in a video.

“The safest place”

But for other members of the crew, on the contrary, the liners are a refuge away from the pandemic.

The isolation can then be seen as a “containment voluntary,” according to the psychiatrist, and it can even be put to use in terms of reflection on oneself.

“I’m in the safest place of the Earth!”, estimated Gonul O., a Turkish national who works aboard a ship which it does not wish to reveal the name. She spent 70 days in the high sea, and is now en route to Europe.

Joyce Lopez, a Colombian, 32-year-old stuck on the Caribbean Princess for the company Carnival, said they also prefer to avoid any “negative feeling”.

From her balcony, she can see a whole swarm of boats, which wait as well as his off the coast of Barbados. His comfort, she is praying.

Le Soleil

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