Samoan seafarers

Samoan seafarers head overseas for employment

According to Samoa Shipping Services Chief Executive Officer, Lautimuia Afoa Vaai, 39 seafarers left on 25 June.

Lautimuia told Savali Newspaper that by December about 500 seafarers should be working on vessels overseas, mostly in Europe.

The shipping company is also negotiating with potential partners to secure new employment opportunities that may see Samoans working on petroleum tankers.

Samoa brings first of its Covid stranded seafarers home

Twenty-seven seafarers were among close to 300 passengers on the Friday's flight from New Zealand.

The group are now undergoing the government's mandatory 14-days quarantine.

The seafarers, who had worked for Switzerland-registered Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), traveled from Dubai to Auckland to catch the flight home.

Earlier the Samoan government had been accused of abandoning seamen stranded around the world because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Samoan seafarers looking to NZ govt for help

The seafarers are currently employed on 17 different cruise liners excluding container ships, which were all forced to stop operation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ships are believed to be anchored off between the Miami coast and the Bahamas.

Many of the other seafarers who come from countries such as India or Indonesia have been repatriated back home.

However, last month Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi urged the seafarers to be patient, "learn to keep themselves busy and await the opening of international borders."