Your experiences - Research for TV documentary


#1

Hello

I am doing some initial research for a television documentary that is looking at life at sea on board a cargo ship - concentrating on ships that travel through the Gulf of Aden. I would really like to hear people’s personal experiences and views. What are the ups and downs of life on board a ship? How do you feel that crew members are treated? Do you feel safe travelling through this area? And have you had experience of either a pirate attack or of on-board security? If so, what was that like? I would also be interested in hearing from anyone who has worked as part of an on-board security team in this part of the world.

I’d be really grateful if people would contact me via the forum or via e-mail. This is just for research purposes and all information will be treated as confidential. The production company is called Two Step Films and is based in North London. Feel free to contact me if you would like more information about the project or about what we do.

Thank you very much

Lucy


#2

Hello,

  1. What are the ups and downs of life on board a ship?
    A wide subject. Mostly we are overworked and underpaid. Taking additional risks on occasion such as passing pirates infested areas…
    Anyway - you have to be more specific with that kind of question.
    being on board has it’s days, I guess. Thats why I’m still doing it. A wide subject.

  2. How do you feel that crew members are treated?
    A wide subject again. Depend about company, flag, owner, union, collective agreement.
    In general the crew is unprotected. Some peanuts are paid while passing the area - roughly double the days pay. If all goes well - then well, or other way around. Is it fair? You tell me.

  3. Do you feel safe travelling through this area?
    Yes I do. But this is a matter of perception, and risk factors involved.
    My vsl makes 25 knots. I feel good.
    If you ask the guy on bulk carrier making 10 knots over ground - he will say: not so much.
    If you ask the guy held captive on anchorage near Eil - I guess he is praying every day to make home alive.

  4. And have you had experience of either a pirate attack or of on-board security?
    I had one unsuccesful attack in Malacca few years back.
    After evasive manouvers they aborted attack.

  5. If so, what was that like?
    What do you want me to tell you? Sleepless night. It sucks.

In case any other info you need, go ahead and ask.
My advice is this: go there and experience it first hand. Many cargo ship company will take passanger on their cargo vessels. They will take your team, why not?
Anyway - you can not make documentary just by reading the forum - so contact one of the companies, and make a trip with them through that area:
For start check this:

I dont want to discourage you in your research or filming the documentary, but: anti piracy procedures are part of the vessels SSP (ship security plan) according to international ISPS code. This means it is confidential. Filming and access to procedure on board will be very limited for you.
Additionaly, even if you make a good documentary you will have to consider that many of the somalis will be watching the movie and it would not be fair for many seaman giving the pirates first hand info on security procedures. You are making a favor to bad guys.
(Surprise, surprise: Somalis have TV, sattelite, internet, i-phones, etc… together with AK47’s and RPG’s…)

Hope I helped!
Jolly