Dear Editor,

Blah blah blah…
This is going to be a week of endless dedications, hailing the seafarers. They will all make their trite and seemingly sincere dedication to the efforts of the seafarers in these challenging times. They will come from all corners of the industry, owners, managers, Class, clubs, and various other bodies, we have the hot air balloon from IMO already in the air, and V Ships has also followed suit.

Obviously, we hail the seafarers. But it sticks in my throat when some owners, who I personally know have prevented crew changes and switched off crew internet during Covid, make statements that they care. (Of course, many others do care and do everything possible and I have seen that also.)

“We need statements of disgust. Sounding the horn should be a cry for action and support for seafarers to take action, not just noise blowing in the wind.”

Seafarers need a way home and a way to join ships, that is simple, healthy and sensible. They need to be recognised for the role they play in the current critical delivery of the supply chain. Government needs to implement an “Ocean Lift” akin to the Berlin Lift to ensure a healthy, safe environment onboard the ships and in recognition of the role seafarers play. Getting vaccinated is great but the logistics of reliefs and the human rights issues remain.

“We should be mourning the lack of action, not celebrating the weakness of the industry to not take care of its own.”

Something needs to change and it won’t happen with a stream of statements of support that have no teeth.

Written by: Frank J Coles

Maritime and Technology C Suite Executive, Consultant and Adviser.

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