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Blunt warning for Samoa sailors if they offend

Tuesday 22 February 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Regional, Samoa

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Blunt warning for Samoa sailors if they offend
Photo: RNZ / YouTube

Samoan sailors working overseas have been warned they must maintain acceptable standards of behaviour.

This comes as the general manager of Samoa Shipping Services, which oversees the training and recruitment of sailors to work, mainly on cruise ships, revealed 10 sailors have lost their contracts for theft, sexual harassment, disorderly conduct, and alcohol and drug abuse.

The Samoa Observer reports Lautimu'ia Uelese Va'ai made the statement while speaking to 29 new sailors before they left last Saturday to start new contracts in Italy.

He warned them to be mindful of the consequences of their actions and advised them to "use the opportunities wisely".

Lautimu'ia said 6 sailors are already back in Samoa and 4 more will be sent home on the first available repatriation flight.

He warned that all the cruiseships use CCTV to monitor activities on board and can show when illegal activities happen.

Lautimu'ia said one of the Samoan sailors was caught trying to allegedly steal a TV set from one of the rooms.

He said one of the most serious offences is sexual harassment and they had to remember the cultural differences they face working overseas.

"You hardly see a Samoan girl at the beach wearing a two-piece swimming suit, but that is something you will see often overseas and you get tempted to do things that you are not supposed to do, so you have to be mindful about those things," he said.

The 29 sailors who flew out last Saturday arrived in Milan on Tuesday morning. They have all tested negative for COVID-19 and will go into quarantine for 7 days before deployment.

The Minister for Samoa Shipping Services, Olo Fiti Va'ai told parliament earlier this month that more than 350 Samoan sailors are currently working on cruise ships abroad.