Ship manager V.Group is working with unions on a plan to evacuate Ukrainian seafarers and their families to safety in Poland or Romania.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and its affiliate, the Marine Transport Workers’ Trade Union of Ukraine (MTWTU), are involved in the collaboration.

The scheme will include all Ukrainian seafarers and their families regardless of their employer or union affiliation. Free accommodation is being offered for a week to give time for the Ukrainians to assess their situation and receive support from the group.

The ITF is establishing a fund through the ITF Seafarers’ Trust. It has contributed $200,000 and is calling for further industry contributions to help fund the project.

MTWTU has started signing crew up for evacuation and organising assembly points. Seafarers seeking help can sign up at

The V.Group is arranging accommodation in Romania and Poland. It will also provide communication, administration, medical and welfare support and help in arranging onward travel and accommodation.

Safety and wellbeing

“Our aim with this humanitarian initiative is to get people to safety as quickly as possible,” MTWTU chairman Oleg Gryoriuk said. “What we need now are contributions from the maritime industry to boost our funds and allow us to continue this initiative.”

V.Group chief operating officer Allan Falkenberg said: “We remain concerned about the safety and wellbeing of all our colleagues and their families impacted by the crisis in the Ukraine. This is a fast-changing situation, and this initiative is one way we can play a role in helping families at the first stage of what will be an emotional and difficult journey.”