Berge Rishiri
The Berge Rishiri Credit: Tamura Namihei Credit: Tamura Namihei

A man has gone missing from the Isle of Man registered ship, the Berge Rishiri, over the weekend, and is presumed lost at sea off the coast of New Zealand, according to media reports in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Herald reported:

The person, a Chinese national, was last seen at 8am on Saturday morning when he finished his shift on the ship, a Maritime NZ spokesperson said in a statement today.

“The person failed to report for duty at 4pm, and Maritime New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ) was advised.”

The spokesperson said they ‘presume’ the man had fallen overboard…

“A cold-water survivability expert engaged by RCCNZ believes there is little chance the person would have survived,” the spokesperson explained.

Man missing overboard from Berge Rishiri ship off Otago coast, search effort halted

The Maritime Union of New Zealand said incidents like this can be a “red flag of other potential issues aboard ships”, and called into question the standards enforced by international ship registrars such as the Manx Ship Registry.

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison said this kind of incident is more common than many people realize. Mr Harrison said he wants Maritime New Zealand “to investigate whether the crew were having adequate rest breaks, and that they were not required to secure any cargo while underway.”

Mr Harrison, “We would like to know how long the seafarer had been at sea and on duty and have assurances they were not kept on the vessel longer than their contracted period, as we have seen huge mental health issues with Seafarers basically kept captive on vessels for months and sometimes years.”

The Isle of Man Ship Registry was contacted for comment yesterday evening. No response was received prior to publication this morning.

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Michael Josem is a long-term consumer advocate, most prominently as a global leader in combating fraud in the online gambling industry. He was in part the inspiration for the 20th Century Fox Movie, Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

Josem has over a decade of experience as a senior business leader working across various high-tech and online industries, and takes action to build a better community. His primary volunteer roles include service for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and Graih, the homelessness charity.