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LADOL  joins global campaign to seek solution to crew change crisis

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Segun Oladipupo   |   

Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) on Tuesday joined Global industry and human rights leaders to sign the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change in a worldwide call to action to end the unprecedented crew change crisis caused by Covid-19.

The companies and organisations involved include; A.P. Møller – Mærsk, BP, BW, Cargill, COSCO, DOW, Euronav, MISC Group, NYK, Rio Tinto, Shell, Trafigura, Unilever and Vale.

The move is to ensure that the crew change crisis is resolved as soon as possible.

It is intended to facilitate crew changes and keep global supply chains functioning:

Also, to recognize seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to Covid-19 vaccines, establish and implement gold standard health protocols based on existing best practice, increase collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes and ensure air connectivity between key maritime hubs for seafarers.

More than 300 companies and organizations recognize that they have a shared responsibility based on their roles across the entire maritime value chain, and beyond, to ensure that the crew change crisis is resolved as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of seafarers from across the globe have been left stranded working aboard ships beyond the expiration of their initial contracts period and are unable to be relieved since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

This is contained in the Twitter handle of the organisation, @ladol_freezone.

It stated that fatigue after long periods at sea has significant consequences on the physical and mental wellbeing of seafarers, adding that it also increases the risk of maritime incidents and environmental disasters, and poses a threat to the integrity of maritime supply chains, which carry 90% of global trade.

LADOL said that despite significant efforts by international organizations, unions, companies and some governments to resolve this untenable crew change crisis,  “we are starting to see the situation getting worse as governments bring in more travel bans in response to the new strains of the Covid-19 virus”

It maintained that a number of key issues leave the critical situation unresolved: national authorities around the world continue to see crew changes and international travel as a Covid-19 risk; high-quality health protocols are not being consistently implemented by ship operators; and the disruption of international air travel has reduced the number of flights between traditional crew change hubs and major seafaring nations.

“We are witnessing a humanitarian crisis at sea. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, seafarers have kept the world supplied with food, energy and other vital goods, with no line of sight of when to go home to their families.

” They have become hostage of the situation and unable to disembark from their ships. Yet, we can put an end to the crew change crisis without any risk to the general public health,” says Jeremy Nixon, CEO of ONE.

“Seafarers play a significant role in the global race to halt the coronavirus pandemic by providing critical medical supplies to the world’s population, particularly in developing economies. They are crucial to millions of peoples’ wellbeing.

“We call on our peers, government bodies and other stakeholders to join us in our efforts to ensure that the rights and wellbeing of the frontline workers of global supply chains are respected,” says Graham Westgarth, Chairman of V. Group.

The Neptune Declaration has been developed by a taskforce of stakeholders from across the maritime value chain including A. M. Nomikos, Cargill, Dorian LPG, GasLog, Global Maritime Forum, International Chamber of Shipping,

International Maritime Employers’ Council, International Transport Workers’ Federation, ONE, Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Sustainable Shipping Initiative, Synergy Group, V. Group, and World Economic Forum

© 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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