From starting to extend contracts back in February as Covid-19 began to spread in Asia a combination of travel restrictions and the near complete halt of international commercial passenger aviation has left an estimated 200,000 seafarers stuck on vessels have their contracts have expired, and an equal number at home ashore unable to sign-on for their new positions at sea.
Despite repeated efforts from industry bodies, unions and regulators to get seafarers declared as key workers globally only a few ports have so far opened up to crew change, and even then owners and managers are finding they have to charter flights to get seafarers home.
The problem has now reached crisis point with concerns from all parties in the industry overall seafarer mental health and well-being, and that it could lead to safety lapses and accidents.
You can read Seatrade Maritime News’ full coverage of the crewing crisis here.
Next week tune into the webinar of crew welfare and the skills challenge
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