Time for tough talking on crew change

SEATRADE MARITIME NEWS | Last Thursday, as the Secretary-General of the United Nations addresses the General Assembly in New York, there is a whole grim list of Covid-19 related issues that he cannot avoid. But few are so pressing as what has become known as the “Maritime Transport Crew Change Crisis”, in which world trade finds itself operating on borrowed time and economic recovery hangs by a thread.

It is, in fact, a humanitarian crisis, with ships crews, who have been operating their vessels under severe restrictions imposed by national authorities for more than six months, becoming exhausted by voyages which, for them, never end. Many seafarers out of the estimated 400,000, who still have not been repatriated, are working far beyond their contracted tours of duty.

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