Shining a light on abandonment

Everyone deserves to return home from work safely. But not everyone is given that opportunity. Seafarer abandonment cases throughout the world continue to rise. Crews that are abandoned suffer unacceptable hardship physically, financially and sometimes fatally.  

RightShip’s mission is to bring awareness to these issues, provide guidance on how to improve practises and help organisations choose safe and compliant shipping businesses to work with.  

Since 2017 RightShip has maintained a database of entities (both company and vessel) that were involved with, or had knowledge of, an abandonment but did not help resolve the issue. The RightShip Platform makes these entities viewable to organisations seeking these services, and consequently lower the entity safety scores to 1 (the lowest score).  

The entities are notified of their safety score downgrade, which will remain until the case is resolved. RightShip cannot recommend these entities for any future voyages until safety scores are rectified.


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Image: Seafarers numbers by abandonment region for the past two decades 

Due diligence matters

Charterers, ports and terminals managers, and financiers all require Due Diligence for ESG compliance in business dealings and may find it difficult to discern who in the supply chain is responsible for the abandonment of seafarers.  

The RightShip Platform due diligence services collate information to promote 'Vessels of Choice', and sound due diligence practises. Organisations can access a snapshot of verified data from the ITFW (International Transport Workers Federation) and RightShip databases needed to make decisions with confidence.  

Platform subscribers can: 

  • View the Document of Compliance (DoC) company, the ship’s Technical Manager, Commercial Manager, Commercial Operator, Registered Owner, and Beneficial Owner. 

  • Track the Beneficial Owners and Commercial Operators and draw connections between the origins of a fleet and abandoned vessels. 

  • Access vessel name, IMO number, abandonment dates, operational performance and incident figures.  


RightShip tools to help drive change

RightShip undertakes vessel vetting on organisations behalf so they may work with the Vessel of Choice for their cargo.​ We vet vessels 40,000 times per year, keeping our platform up to date as well as developing resources to provide all organisations with the tools & knowledge to keep people safe.  

To highlight Vessels of Choice, RightShip provides Badges to vessels that have passed a physical check, are using best practises and maintain high crew standards. These badges include:​ 

  • RightShip Dry Bulk Inspection Badge 

  • RightShip Crew Welfare Self-Assessment Badge 

  • RightShip Management Audit Badge

If a vessel is identified as guilty of association with seafarer abandonment RightShip cannot and will not recommend them for voyages. Within the platform a binary Safety Score rule is placed over the vessel, owner, and management company if a case is registered on the ILO website, and only lifted once a case is resolved and an improvement plan set it place. 

RightShip also provides a Crew Welfare Code of Conduct with free guidance for charterers looking to review and improve their own practices.  

You and your organisation can reduce seafarer abandonment by choosing to work with, or become, a well-rated shipowner, manager, and vessel of choice.  


Read the Full Seafarer Abandonment Report here