Over 200,000 humans are stranded at sea. Save them before it's too late.
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Over 200,000 seafarers are out at sea right now. Some have already lost hope and committed suicide. Others say they are close to doing the same.
There are approximately 80,000 cruise ship employees and 150,000 cargo ship employees. The cruise ship crew members are not working, and cannot get home. They are not being paid in many cases, and in others, the pay is minimal. Several ships are required by CDC to sail with stringent restrictions. Level 3 onboard a cruise vessel means that crew has to be in their cabins (some without windows), for 21 hours per day. They can only come out for meals and a fresh air break. They do not all have free wifi, and they have minimal contact with their families at home. Even the strongest willed people will face depression and anxiety in this situation. Now add in the worry about getting home, the fear of not being able to provide income for your family, the concern about your family's health at home, the death of a family member that you cannot be there for, the birth of your child that you missed. How can we possibly consider it humane to leave them out there?
CDC has implemented a no sail order, but it does not mean that crew cannot disembark. They can. However, CDC has the cruise lines hostage, with an attestation that the CEO and other executives must sign, agreeing to criminal sanctions for every single crew member that they send home should these crew members come into contact with a person of the public. They want crew members chartered privately from ship to vehicle, then vehicle to charter flight, and flight to repatriation homes or government facility quarantine centers. Many of the ships have given in and signed the declaration with great reluctance. Yet still, there are so many changes daily to the borders and we need to call on CDC and every government worldwide, to help their citizens. Thus, even if the cruise lines agree to the extraordinary costs to charter their crew home (and keep in mind, they have), flights are being canceled and countries are shutting their doors at the last minute. The cruise lines have even swapped crew onto ships, split by citizenship, and tried to sail them home from the USA all the way to Manila Philipines, India, Indonesia, and Europe.
Whether you love or hate cruise lines, they are trying. And if you don't agree with that opinion or if you feel that they have the revenue to charter everyone and comply with the restrictions, are you okay with crew members imprisoned in tiny rooms with no windows have been out there in this situation for 60+ days? Because there has not been a resolution to this and both cargo ships waiting for crew changeovers, and cruise ship crew, are all beginning to experience severe mental health issues. Would you be okay with it if this was your child, spouse, parent, or friend? We need to bring them home.
Firstly, we need for CDC to review it's cruise line onboard restrictions, to consider how long they have been at sea with little to no exposure, and to loosen up on their demands of the cruise lines. If they do not do this, more lives will be lost as crew members lose their ability to cope with the isolation, loneliness, and depression until they can be repatriated.
Secondly, we need for CDC to lift some of the travel restrictions in place and enable cruise lines to send crew home on Commerical flights. Have you seen the photos of people on commercial airlines? They are not practicing social distancing in the least. Crew have been better isolated, better monitored with their multiple temperature checks per day, and they are living in much more sterile environments than anyone on land. The USA is already allowing commercial flights, and international flights are resuming again too. Yet, CDC is treating cruise line crew members like an entirely different species.
There are also several Americans trapped overseas, being turned away by their own country.
This situation is dire and not enough of the world knows about it. We plead for your support, to get the attention of the CDC, President Trump and the White House, and to help crew members be repatriated through the United States with fewer restrictions. Please sign to help these innocent lives at sea.
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