Alex Atack


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When seafarer Mehmet Gulsen stepped on board the Kenan Mete, he thought he was signing up to a pretty standard 7 month contract, and then he’d be home in Ukraine with his young daughter and his dog. But a few months in, things started going wrong, and he ended up abandoned with his crew at a port in the Suez Canal, with no idea when they’d be able to go home.

In this story, produced for 99% Invisible in collaboration with Kerning Cultures: the strange legal limbo that allows seafarers to wind up abandoned and unable to leave their ships... sometimes for years at a time.

This episode was reported and produced by me and edited by Katie Mingle, with additional support from Dana Ballout, Zeina Dowidar, Nadeen Shaker. Dilara Çelik provided translation support and Onur Akmehmet was the voice of Mehmet.