The Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) Center for Seafarers’ Rights conducted its fifteenth annual Seafarer Shore Leave Survey during the week of May 1-7, 2016. During the survey week, North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA) member organizations and other port ministries in 29 United States ports visited 475 vessels at 203 terminals. The vessels visited had 10,283 crewmembers on board representing approximately 55 nationalities. Chaplains reported that a total of 1,061 seafarers (10.3%) on 104 ships were denied shore leave. An overwhelming majority (81.6%) of these seafarers were denied shore leave because they did not have valid visas. Other reasons for denial of shore leave included seafarers who remained on their vessels in United States waters for more than 29 days (11.7%), seafarers who entered the United States on C-1 Transit Visas and were detained on board after joining the vessel (2.5%), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) restrictions (2%), and vessel operations (1.9%).
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