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COVID-19 and crew changes – A ship manager’s view

With growing concerns over the difficulties faced by shipowners in making crew changes given restrictions to limit the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak Wilhelmsen Ship Management has explained the approach that it is taking.

The leading ship manager told Seatrade Maritime News that like many other managers it had taken the decision to defer crew changes for one month.

WSM cited two reasons for the decision to defer crew changes:

  • “Difficulty in mobilizing crew due to the lock down situation in a number of major seafaring nations and movement restrictions in many countries.”
  • “Though crew screening measures are in place prior to mobilizing crew, we feel this decision would greatly mitigate the risk of contamination of other crew onboard coming from onsigners.”

WSM said it had received a large amount of feedback from its seafarers that they were supportive of the approach and grateful for the decision.

The fact that seafarers that stay onboard ship are relatively safe from the virus was noted. “Many see the risk of new joiners as a potential threat of getting infected by COVID-19.”

“For the sake of our seafarers, we really hope this matter gets sorted out soon,” WSM said.

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