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Tragic Suicide of Crew Member Waiting For Joining Date

Submitted by kgnadmin on

A crew member waiting for his joining date was found dead by his family in the India's state of Goa. A news article posted on the social media reported that Ryson Menon, a 31-year-old resident of Khursabhatt, was found hanging from a footbridge after a heated argument with his mother.

The newspaper reports that the deceased, who had previously worked aboard a cruise ship, was frustrated due to a prolonged date of work assignment. Following a heated argument with his mother, Ryson left his residence. Concerned about his well-being, family members embarked on a search for him. Their efforts led them to Tariwaddo, where they discovered his scoter parked. Tragically, Ryson was found hanging from the footbridge. The local police conducted the inquest and indicated that no foul play is suspected in this tragic event. The body of the deceased has been sent to the South Goa District Hospital for post-mortem examination.

The suicide of Ryan Menon, which according to a friend happened in October 2023, has cast a spotlight on the severe hardship crew members encounter due to uncertain job assignments due to extended sign-on dates. 
This tragedy highlights the immense pressures faced by crew especially during the  extended vacation, which can be up to 8 months for some crew on several major cruise lines. Such extended breaks not only bring financial hardships on the crew and their families, but also inflict significant mental and psychological stress. As the primary earners for their families, many crew members are torn between waiting for a new sign-on date, seeking alternative employment, or applying to different cruise lines, while spending their hard earned money.
While some cruise lines incorporate guaranteed sign-on dates into the crew contracts, others only offer approximate dates, leaving crew members in a state of limbo. This tragic incident, alongside stories shared by Crew Center from affected crew members, calls for an effort from cruise lines, crew schedulers, recruiting agencies, and union representatives. 

There is an urgent need to establish mechanisms for guaranteed sign-on dates, to avoid the mental and financial burdens endured by crew members during extended vacations. If some cruise lines can provide such assurances, it is imperative that the industry as a whole adopts similar practices.
As we mourn the loss of Ryan Menon, it is critical to recognize this as a wake-up call for the cruise industry to prioritize the job security of its crew members.

Here are some of the stories Crew Center received from crew members who faced these problems:

“Hello everyone I am a crew member and I want to share about vacation there is no planing our maning agency doing for all crews I am facing rejoining on board I given my vacation for 2 months and 10 days but since I am on vacation there is no email or reply from our manning agency which is in India so I want to share for everyone if you are coming for vacation don't think that you will get joining early think about you will get joining 5or 7 months.” 
“It's been 6 month since I Disembark still I don't have a joining date, I followed up several time with my agency and I mail to crew complain they replied once saying under planning or forwarded your message to respected department (House keeping_Cabin steward) after that they ignore my message. Where can I complain if anyone knows ? My issue is why still don't have a joining date? Even I have joining date after 3 month that's ok for me , atleast reschedule”
Almost hundreds of Filipinos got there assignments and LOE cancelled that includes both new hire and ex crews some of us waited for a year without any of the staff explaining on what happened. all of us are very dissapointed on how they handle the crewmembers (new hires and ex crew) as they are not replying on the emails even if you send emails almost every 72hours their live chat are offline most of the time and if you go to there office only the guards and the utility will talk to us telling us that they are the only ony one who can to us with our concerm which they only say to send emails. it is like they are auto-generated too. I dont know what happens next to us who got cancelled. all of us pulled out our documents and are now looking for an agency.. the cruise line waste our time and didn't even care about us, we all resigned on our works some of us came from the provices and fly to Manila to pass all requirements on time and now they did this. where do you hell see a manning agency with only a utilty and a guard will talk to us about all the concerns etc. The cruise line ruined the lives and dreams of the crewmembers especially new hires dreaming of getting onboard.”
A crew member shared the following letter he received from the cruise line:
“Since providing you with an offer letter, we have been working hard to find an assignment for you as we manage the changing needs of our operations.


A recent review of our hiring needs shows that an assignment for your position will not be available. We apologize for the difficulties this may cause.

If you have paid a fee to obtain a visa, STCW certificate, and/or Medical Certificate for Service at Sea (PEME) to join, please contact your Hiring Partner for reimbursement.

Looking beyond this year, we want to share that we are growing, and we expect to welcome several new ships to our fleets. Therefore, if you remain interested, we invite you to re-apply in 2024 and continue to monitor our career site future opportunities.”


I just want to share my experience as a newly hired of crew i was hired last October 2022, at one of the hotels here in Manila. i got my offer letter then my LOE after a week, then my embarkation date is Feb 11, 2023, so im getting ready to complete of all my necessary documents, then January 14 2023 came my LOE was gone! without any advisory or email from the coordinator, so my joining date was moved to March 10, after that Feb 1, 2023 again! my LOE was changed for the 2nd time! and my joining date was changed to April 15, 2023 without any advisory or email! i was feeling very frustrated ,depressed and stressed because i already resigned from my previous company. March 15 2023 i received an email that my joining on april 15 is cancelled! then it was moved again in May  this is my 4x LOE, 3x different ships. and still hoping that this is the last cancellation im now 7months waiting!2-3x of cancellation is okay but some of the crew members 5-7x they got cancelled and 6-9months waiting until now This happened not only to me but also to the other crew member that was newly hired since last year and until now still waiting to join the ship. my question is Why is this happened for how many times? and they are still hiring in the same position?”

“I know that this is not the right channel to address my issue but please atleast can somebody help us why the new hires waited for so long for their joining date and to the last minute, after they given up their local job, after they got into the airport, in just a snap they cancelled their flight. Are the top management knows this issues of lower rank level who only have a dream to work onboard and feed their families and provide them a better life? 

The recruitment agencies always say that they just follow the business needs and they don't have control on it, but for god sake, to the last minute of our waiting to join they will cancel our joining date. I don't want to think that there is some corruption or some bribery going on. But please walk the talk. Thank you and have a great day.

I am from Philippines, this is not an isolated case for sure many crew will agree to this kind of system”
“I am Tailor under Housekeeping and was joinded since 2013. I was working for 8 years. Now, I have some problem . Waiting for LOE long time after cameback vacation 2020 until now(2022)Pls issued for me LOE as soon as possible. Thanks”