By : David Osler
The ICS says an estimated 400,000 seafarers are either stranded at sea after overrunning their contracts, or who are waiting to start their tours of duty
AN INTERNATIONAL summit called to address the crew change crisis brought about by coronavirus pandemic lockdowns will be held in London next week.
The July 9 event has been arranged by the UK government and aims to involve political and business leaders from across the globe.
It is designed as an opportunity “to reflect on the impact of the pandemic on the global shipping industry, and what governments and industry must do to protect the welfare of crew workers around the world”, according to the Department for Transport.
An estimated 1.2m seafarers are currently in service on about 55,000 maritime ships worldwide. Normally 200,000 of them change each month as their period of service on board comes to an end.
The date of the summit was confirmed by the DfT as the International Chamber of Shipping said it was calling on all ships to sound their horns in an act of solidarity with stranded seafarers on the eve of the event.
“The 8th July is a perfect moment to remind those politicians who are meeting to consider the impact of Covid-19 to classify these unsung heroes of global trade as key workers and to instigate seafarer air-the bridges to enable safe travel,” said Guy Platten, secretary-general of the ICS.
‘We will remain fully committed to the welfare of all seafarers, regardless of their nationality’ — Boris Johnson