Crew Agencies Halt Recruitment on Yachts Owned by Russians Connected to the War in Ukraine

9 March 2022 By Holly Overton
Credit: Adobe Stock

Holly is the editor of Dockwalk. She grew up racing sailboats in England before switching to the world of superyachts and moving across the pond to Fort Lauderdale.

M/Y Crew Agency and Saltwater Recruitment have announced that their respective companies have suspended recruitment projects with yachts that have been linked to owners connected with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

In a statement, Michael Jacobs, managing director of M/Y Crew Agency, said: “Recent political events have cast the spotlight on our sector, specifically regarding the ownership of superyachts and their respective owner's political influence and or affiliation with Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

“As a direct course of immediate action, our company has decided to suspend all recruitment projects on any yachts, worldwide, which may be owned by individuals deemed to potentially have influence on, involvement in, or affiliation with the current conflict, in any way.”

The decision by M/Y Crew Agency was announced last week (March 2) and was shortly followed by Saltwater Recruitment, which made a statement on March 8 confirming that the company had also ceased its services with “any Russian-owned vessels that could potentially be linked to the Russian Government and the crisis in Ukraine.” 

Monique Dykstra, founder and director of Saltwater Recruitment, stressed the importance of placing integrity before financial gains. “We feel it is our moral obligation to stand with Ukraine and provide any support we can.” 

Dykstra confirmed that while Saltwater Recruitment will not be placing any new crew on board vessels, the agency will continue to support yacht crew who are already placed.

Both Jacobs and Dykstra are actively encouraging other recruitment agencies and other suppliers to follow suit. “If we all stand together as an industry and take collective action, we may be able to put a tiny bit of pressure on some of the most influential people in Russia who may have helped fund this war,” said Dykstra.

The news comes just days after the Professional Yachting Association (PYA) released its advice to crew working on board vessels owned by Russian individuals under economic sanction by the U.S., UK, and EU governing bodies. In the last two weeks several yachts have been arrested in Europe, while others have left the Mediterranean in the direction of safe havens in the Maldives and the Middle East, placing a question mark over matters of pay and repatriation for yacht crew. 


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