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Seafarer of the Year award for A Whale master

You may remember our blog back in July about the abandoned crew of A Whale; this month the former master of the ship received an industry award in recognition of his service to his crew and the seafaring community.

Jan Webber of Sailors' Society accepted the Lloyd's List Award for Seafarer of the Year on behalf of Captain Khan Jubair Niaz. The situation on board the oil skimmer drew widespread media attention and the master's conduct has been repeatedly praised.

Jan, Director of Fundraising at the Society, who liaised with the crew throughout the ordeal, read out a speech that Captain Niaz had prepared, in which he explained the tensions and hardships on-board.

The episode brought the issue of seafarer abandonment into the light, thanks in no small part to the captain's persistent battling for the rights of his crew. His emotional speech closed with a hopeful note:

"I am really grateful for all the parties who helped throughout this difficult situation. It is not the victory of A Whale crew. It is a victory for the seafarer community."

The Sailors' Society is an international charity that provides a personal lifeline for seafarers throughout the world. For more information or to discuss the above case study, please visit

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