The seafarers were signed off from the vessel before entering the dangerous region

If the seafarers work on board the vessel covered by the collective agreement they can refuse to proceed to the high-risk zone indicated by IBF. This right was used by several members of the crew of the tanker Asphalt Seminole (IMO 9263942, flag of the Marshall Islands).

Some time ago the Seafarers Union of Russia was contacted by the crewmembers with request to assist in discharging from the vessel that was proceeding from St. Petersburg to Antwerp, Belgium. Two Russian seafarers explained that after entering a European port, the tanker should set a course for Nigeria through the high-risk zone of the IBF, but they did not want to go there. Since Asphalt Seminole is covered by the collective agreement, the seafarers decided to sign off before entering the dangerous region.

So, according to the collective agreement, each crewmember has the right to refuse to continue the voyage to the area of the high risk and the shipping company must repatriate the crew at its own expense. In this regard the Seafarers Union of Russia applied for the shipowner and soon received confirmation that 3 crewmembers who did not want to go to Nigeria will be signed off. When they arrived in Antwerp, they all received a full salary payment and returned to Russia at the expense of their employer.

It remains to add that if seafarers agreed to take a dangerous route then working in a high-risk area of the IBF provides a bonus in the amount of the basic salary paid for the actual period of stay or transit in the dangerous zone, as well as double compensation in the event of death and disability.