Brave Seafarer Zaude Paolo Bandivas Named 'Seafarer of the Year'

Standing firm and full of professionalism after spending two and half years at a port when the owner of his vessel abandoned it, leaving him stranded and fend for himself, Zaude Paolo Bandivas has been awarded “Seafarer of the Year” by the Lloyd’s List Middle East and Indian Subcontinent Awards. He received the recognition last month at the Armani Hotel Dubai.

The award recognizes skill, bravery and professionalism displayed on a daily basis for someone in the maritime industry and celebrates instances of leadership, courage and vision while serving at sea.

Bandivas was on board an anti-piracy vessel in the Middle East that the owner decided to abandon. According to Hellenic Shipping News, he and a fellow crewmember were left unpaid and often without provisions for a number of months.

Thanks to the efforts and assistance of The Mission to Seafarers, Bandivas managed to get out of a long and protracted contractual dispute and later secured repatriation.

“Zaude exemplifies everything that is courageous about seafarers around the world. He is patient, he is calm, and above all, he believed that with careful negotiations, he would be able to secure the pay he was in desperate need of, and get home safely. The Mission visited Zaude regularly and made essential supplies and subsistence finance available to him when he needed it most. The other ships in the local port also took him under their wing, as there was no air conditioning or power for cooking, in over 50 degrees heat. He joined neighbouring vessel crews for meals and essential company through these long dark days.

I am truly thankful that we were able put pressure on the disputing parties and help bring this matter to a resolution eventually. This case highlights the real plight and suffering of seafarers who are abandoned in port, but feel that they must stay on board to ensure that their pay is duly handed over to them for their families are depending on them back home. I am delighted and honoured to have met Zaude.”