Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Leading Institute of Maritime Law academic discusses issues around abandoning ships at sea

Published: 28 May 2014

Hilton Staniland, Professor of Maritime Law, has delivered a public lecture at the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden on the abandonment of ships at sea.

Events surrounding the sinking of the Titanic, Costa Concordia and most recently the South Korean ferry Sewol are of great interest to both lawyers and the general public.

“The topic of abandonment represents one of the most existential aspects of the relationship between seafarers and life at sea. It is the moment where the bond between a ship and its crew is broken, often in dramatic circumstances,” he says. Hilton reminded his audience of the basic law about the responsibility of the master in the final act of abandonment, and relayed his experience as the president of a court of inquiry into the loss of the Meob Bay and 19 of its crew-members off the coast of Namibia in 2002.

He also spoke about the latest amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 which were agreed at the International Labour Organisation in Geneva on 11 April 2014. These establish mandatory requirements that shipowners must maintain financial security to cover the abandonment of seafarers. A large number of seafarers around the world are currently reported to be still in distressed situations of abandonment by their employers, and several have been abandoned for many years.

Related Staff Member

Privacy Settings