Reports from SCI’s 2012 Shore Leave Survey show a continued need for convenient seafarers’ access to shore leave.
The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) announces the results of its eleventh annual Seafarer Shore Leave Survey. Port chaplains from 29 United States ports collected data on seafarers’ shore leave during the first week in May. Although the data show a reduced percentage of ships reporting detained seafarers, they also indicate the continued challenges foreign seafarers face when trying to secure much-needed shore leave in United States ports.
The Shore Leave Survey indicates that of those seafarers denied shore leave, 81% were denied shore leave because of either a lack of visa or an invalid visa. The United States is the only major maritime nation that requires foreign seafarers to have a visa to go ashore. Other contributing factors included vessel restrictions, company restrictions and terminal restrictions. Although terminal access restrictions showed improvement from last year’s Survey, some terminals continue to charge seafarers exorbitant fees for simple escorts through terminals.