Sri Lanka has about 70 seafarers who have been held hostage by Somali pirates since 2009, and some of these have been supported by Chirag Bahri. On his recent visit to Sri Lanka Chirag made contact with some of the seafarers. “Thankfully, the ones we have known over the years are no longer in need of our support. Several of them have gone back to sea, and others are getting on with their lives. We are still concerned about the families of seafarers who have not returned.” In a visit with the minister of shipping, this was discussed, and the need for death certificates to be issued for the four Sri Lankan seafarers from the Albedo to enable their families to be able to make firmer plans for the future, a process which can take many years in the case of seafarers who disappear or are lost at sea.
One of the families of the four missing seafarers from the Albedo has opened a bakery to provide for the family, and with a grant from the programme has bought equipment increase productivity.
The cake shop of the wife of the Chief Engineer of the Albedo
Part of the work of Chirag is to speak to cadets and seafarers about to go to sea about the issues of piracy, to increase resilience among seafarers against this threat. Chirag is qualified to teach the Wellness at Sea course of the Sailors Society, a four-day course including a piracy module, also covers other areas to provide holistic support for seafarers geared to their life at sea. Chirag took this course at the CINEC training school for 36 Sri Lankan officer cadets.
Cadets at CINEC Colombo doing an ice-breaker during the Wellness at Sea Course