Seafarers everywhere have been hit hard by the pandemic. Many have been left stranded working aboard ships beyond the expiry of their initial contracts, unable to get home. Others can’t get to work. Fatigue after long periods at sea has significant consequences on their physical and mental wellbeing. It also increases the risk of maritime incidents and environmental disasters, and threatens the integrity of maritime supply chains that carry 90% of global trade.
“At DFDS, seafarers make up half of our colleagues. Some of them have been impacted by the pandemic, either by being unable to get home on time to loved ones or being able to return to work on time due to ongoing travel restrictions around the world. As a company, we do everything we can to give them the support, guidance and assistance they need in these difficult times. In addition to this we also need to stand together as an industry, to support seafaring colleagues around the world. That’s why we have now joined 300 other companies in shipping, transport and supply chains in signing the Neptune Declaration For Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change,” says DFDS’ VP and Head of Global Crewing Gemma Griffin: “To raise awareness of what’s needed to take care of the wellbeing of our frontline workers in the maritime industry.”
“We need to start recognising seafarers across the world as key workers and give them priority access to Covid-19 vaccines,” Gemma says. “We also need to establish and live up to gold standard health protocols based on what we know works. We need to increase the collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes and ensure air connectivity between key maritime hubs for seafarers. We have a shared responsibility to ensure that the current crew change crisis is resolved as soon as possible and to use the learnings as an opportunity to build a more resilient maritime supply chain.”
January 28, 2021