ViganTBA GroupSailors SocietyPort of South LouisianaThe Wolfson Centre for Bulk Solids Handling Technology Cleveland Cascades Ltd
  • Coaltrans Asia 2021
  • Vigan
  • Van Aalst
  • TOC Events
  • TMS Awards 2021
  • Cimbria

North calls for crew repatriation action

North calls for crew repatriation action

(Posted on 10/07/20)

Leading International Group (IG) Protection and Indemnity member, North P&I has urged maritime stakeholders to seize the opportunity provided by a UK Government summit on July 9th to establish an international action plan to deal with the crew repatriation crisis resulting from COVID-19.

Led by UK Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst, the virtual event is the first ‘international summit’ addressing the impact of COVID-19 on crew working conditions. It will bring together representatives from the International Maritime Organization, the International Chamber of Shipping, and other associations. IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim is expected to highlight the need to safeguard crews and the duties of states towards seafarers.

With more than 1.2 million seafarers at sea at any one time, around 200,000 have been caught up in delays to crew changes, as travel and border restrictions have been applied, repatriation refused and medical attention ashore denied. Stopgap contract extensions have been further prolonged, with seafarers trapped on board for months in a stressful limbo, despite many having had no contact with coronavirus and posing no risk, says North CEO Paul Jennings.

“The challenges brought by COVID-19 continue to have a significant impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of crew,” he says. “Recent weeks have seen welcome action, especially as air routes have opened up, and certainly IG club correspondents have been working tirelessly at the sharp end to get things moving. However, this is not simply about logistics and good will.

“Crew changes continue to be hindered by quarantining, visa issues and bureaucracy, and only governments have the power to ensure that different authorities act with common purpose. It is vital that port authorities and national governments treat seafarers with the fairness and respect they deserve, and this requires an orchestrated response.”

In its own right, the UK Government reckons to have helped more than 7,000 cruise ship crew return home, regardless of nationality or circumstance.

Jennings, who is also current Chair of the IG says responses to COVID-19 have included a new tracking tool developed by North for the IG providing daily updates on the virus and new guidance to crew from all 13 IG clubs on social distancing, as well as ongoing support to all IG Members.

However, only far-reaching actions such as recognising seafarers as ‘Key Workers of the Sea’ at a global level can side-step restrictions being re-imposed, in case of any future pandemic or a COVID-19 ‘second wave’, he says.

“We have a shared responsibility to sort this out and ensure that the same circumstances can never be allowed to happen again,” he says. “We support the UK government summit which seeks to find practical steps to the crew repatriation crisis. We are all aware that it is challenging and can take time to find solutions that are globally acceptable but that is not an excuse for inaction.”

Latest News

Norden capitalises on rising dry cargo asset values

(Posted on 13/10/21)

NORDEN’s Asset Management division, which handles buying, selling and leasing of dry cargo and... Read more


Dualog Drive data integrates with Microsoft SharePoint

(Posted on 13/10/21)

Leading maritime software provider Dualog is delighted to announce a further leap towards the integrated... Read more


Cadets miss out on sea time due to pandemic restrictions

(Posted on 11/10/21)

Restrictions on crew change and repatriations are impacting cadets at a time when the shipping industry... Read more


Covid drives demand for crew-change specialists

(Posted on 11/10/21)

Crew change specialists are in big demand from shipping companies struggling to get seafarers on or... Read more


World owes debt of gratitude to Ship Masters says Danica

(Posted on 04/10/21)

As the international maritime community celebrated World Maritime Day last week and considerd how seafarers... Read more


Promote diversity to attract fresh talent to shipping

(Posted on 04/10/21)

Promoting diversity in shipping will help make the industry more appealing to young adults and adolescents... Read more


ESL subsidiary orders six hybrid vessels

(Posted on 29/09/21)

ESL Shipping’s Swedish subsidiary AtoB@C Shipping AB has ordered a series of six new, highly energy... Read more


InterManager President calls for ‘one voice’ for shipping

(Posted on 29/09/21)

Shipping needs “one voice” to represent it globally and enable the maritime community to... Read more


Synergy appoints Ackermann as CCO

(Posted on 29/09/21)

Synergy Group, one of the world’s leading ship managers, has appointed Mr Martin Ackermann as... Read more


Nippon Paint sees Turkish drydocking spike amid Asia concerns

(Posted on 21/09/21)

Nippon Paint Marine has registered a significant spike in Turkish drydockings as operators of small-... Read more


Bühler GmbHTOC EventsTelestackCoaltrans Asia 2021TMS Awards 2021Port of Stockton
  • Port of Stockton
  • Port of South Louisiana
  • Sailors Society

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest global news in bulk cargo handling and shipping