RightShip joins as cosignatory to open letter on seafarer still trapped in Ukraine

RightShip and over 30 other organisations and companies, have written a joint open letter urgently calling on the UN Secretary General – His Excellency António Guterres – to prioritise the immediate release of the 331 seafarers and 62 ships that remain trapped in Ukrainian ports. 

Friday 24 February 2023 will mark one year since the onset of the war in Ukraine. The International Chamber of Shipping, in collaboration with RightShip and over 30 other organisations and companies, have written a joint open letter urgently calling on the UN Secretary General – His Excellency António Guterres – to prioritise the immediate release of the 331 seafarers and 62 ships that remain trapped in Ukrainian ports. 

Steen Lund, RightShip CEO, said “Not a single one of the 331 seafarers trapped in Ukrainian ports must be forgotten, and the evacuation of these crew members and their vessels should be addressed as a matter of urgency. Every seafarer, working as part of the global supply chain which serves us all, must be protected. RightShip is taking action and has joined the list of cosignatories and I personally urge all companies involved in the maritime industry to join us in the ICS’ call for action. This must grow into a resounding clarion call for justice and immediate action. These 331 seafarers cannot be allowed to remain in port, and the vessels they serve on must be released and given safe passage."    


Read the joint industry open letter below and attached here


20 February 2023 


For the attention of His Excellency António Guterres 

United Nations Secretary General 

United Nations Headquarters 

E 46th St & 1st Ave 

New York 10017 

United States of America 



Joint open letter on seafarers still trapped in Ukraine 


Re: Shipping industry call for help to evacuate the 300+ seafarers still trapped in Ukraine ports 


Your Excellency Secretary-General Guterres, 

As we approach one year since the start of the war in Ukraine, the co-signatories of this letter write to you to highlight the 331 seafarers still trapped on vessels in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. We call on the United Nations, and on your diplomatic influence, to address this matter urgently and evacuate all remaining seafarers and ships. 

Our seafarers are the heart of our industry and cannot be forgotten. For 12 months now they have been caught up in a crisis far beyond their control. Simply doing their jobs cannot come at the expense of their lives. 

We recognise and celebrate the United Nations, and your leadership, for the Black Sea Grain Initiative that the UN successfully brokered with Türkiye between Ukraine and Russia. This has allowed safe passage of critical grain and fertiliser shipments from Ukraine to populations most in need, and curbed food prices from spiralling out of control. We are committed to supporting the continued success of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, however this cannot come at the expense of innocent seafarers’ lives. Action must be taken now. 

Without our seafarers, movement of the vital grain shipments out of Ukrainian ports would not have been possible. While there are challenges to evacuating seafarers and their ships, it must nonetheless be a top priority. Otherwise, we risk the lives of our seafarers, and this is unacceptable. 

Yours faithfully, 

Please kindly see below the full list of signatories to the letter. 


Armateurs de France – Mr. Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, Chairman 

Bahamas Shipowners Association – Mr. John Adams, Chairman 

BIMCO – Mr.David Loosley, Secretary General & CEO 

CONFIRTAMA – Italian Shipowners’ Association – Mr. Mario Mattioli, President of Italian Shipowners’ Association 

Cyprus Shipping Chamber – Mr. Thomas A. Kazakos, Director General 

Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha – Mr. Masaharu Kurosawa, Representative Director, President Executive Officer 

Danish Shipping – Ms. Anne H.Steffensen, Director General and CEO 

European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) – Mr. Sotiris Raptis, Secretary General 

FONASBA – Mr. Jonathan C.Williams FICS, General Manager 

IINO KAIUN KAISHA, LTD. (IINO LINES) – Mr. Hiromi Tosha, President and Representative Director 

INTERCARGO – Dr. Kostas G. Gkonis, CEO 

InterManager – Capt. Kuba Szymanski, Secretary General 

International Chamber of Shipping – Mr. Emanuele Grimaldi, Chairman 

International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA) – Mr. Jason Zuidema, General Secretary 

International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA) – Mr. Jim Scorer, Secretary General 

International Maritime Employers’ Council Ltd. (IMEC) – Mr. Francesco Gargiulo, Chief Executive Officer 

International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) – Dr. Robert Verbist, President 


International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) – Mr. Lars Lange, Secretary General 

INTERTANKO – Dr. Phillip Belcher, Marine Director 

Japanese Shipowners’ Association – Mr. Junichiro Ikeda, President 

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” LINE) – Mr. Yukikazu Myochin, Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer 

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. – Mr. Takeshi Hashimoto, Representative Director, President, Chief Executive Officer 

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) – Mr. Hitoshi Nagasawa, President, Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer 

RightShip – Mr. Steen Lund, CEO 

Sailors’ Society – Ms. Sara Baade, CEO 

Seafarers Hospital Society – Ms. Sandra Welch, CEO 

Stella Maris – Mr. Martin Foley, Chief Executive Officer/European Regional Coordinator 

Synergy Denmark A/S – Mr. Tommy Thomassen, COO 

The Mission to Seafarers – Mr. Andrew Wright, Secretary General 

The Seafarers’ Charity – Ms. Deborah Layde, Chief Executive 

UK Chamber of Shipping – Ms. Sarah Treseder, CEO 

Union of Greek Shipowners – Ms. Melina Travlos, President 

Verband Deutscher Reeder (VDR) – Dr. Gaby Bornheim, President & Dr. Martin Kröger, CEO 


CC: His Excellency Kitack Lim 

Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization 

4 Albert Embankment 

London SE1 7SR 

United Kingdom 


CC: His Excellency Gilbert F. Houngbo 

Director-General of the International Labour Organization 

4 route des Morillons 


Genève 22 





International Chamber of Shipping 

7th Floor 

Walsingham House 

35 Seething Lane 

London EC3N 4AH 

Tel: +44 (0)20 7090 1460