February 10th, 2021

Global firms vow to help seafarers in despair at sea

Hundred of companies vow to help hundreds of thousands of seafarers currently stuck at sea due to problems caused by crew change due to restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over 300 leading companies said they would work together to help merchant sailors stuck on ships for many months due to COVID-19. They says it’s a crisis that risks creating more dangers at sea. Last month, the United Nations General Assembly urged all countries to designate seafarers and other maritime personnel as key workers.

Global firms vow to help seafarers in despair at sea

Nevertheless, ship crews are still struggling to swap over with colleagues on land. Some of them have been stuck at sea for more than 11 months which is against the maritime labor convention. The companies, which include shipping groups such as AP Moller Maersk, miners Anglo American and Rio Tinto, oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell, as well as trading companies Cargill, Trafigura, and Vitol, will boost information sharing as signatories of the "Neptune Declaration" initiative.

"All of us have a duty of care to seafarers," said Kit Kernon, global head of shipping at Vitol. "Their well-being is essential to safe and efficient operations."

Signatories will also increase collaboration between shipping operators and charterers to speed up crew changes while also calling for key worker status for mariners.

Crossworld Services Inc. meanwhile will continue to give updates on the situation of stranded seafarers as part of its commitment to prioritize the wellbeing of seafarers and minimize the disruption business due to the Covid-19 pandemic.