COVID-19 and Seafarer's Crew Change

At the moment 25.000 seamen, due for furlough, on 2000 Dutch ships are stuck on board due to the Coronavirus. Not one word is mentioned in the Dutch media over this forgotten group, only almost hourly reports about a few hundred of vacationers still stuck abroad.

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Sorry for those mariners Dutchie, no one in all our different countries have a clue what we do and contribute to their well being. Nothing new or surprising

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This is just going to be one of those things. There’s no motivation to relieve mariners. Too much risk: if a ship gets infected they can’t call on other ports, the crew may need to be evacuated, a death may happen with a corresponding wrongful death lawsuit. Can a ship get underway with a bunch of crew isolating or on oxygen to breathe ?

I’m not sure how the economies of other countries are doing but I suspect there’s little motivation for mariners to quit. Jobs might be hard to come by for awhile.

Finally, even if a mariner decided to jump ship it’s got to be much harder to get ashore now and get transport home.

All in all, mariners of all flags will have to suck it up. That’s life some times.

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Yeah, just because the enemy is invisible doesn’t mean we shouldn’t maintain a war footing and do what’s needed to win.

Nothing specially for Dutch seafarers, but all nationalities
Posted this in another thread before I saw your post.

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I know that only a minuscule part of the 1.6 Mill. seafarers in the world are Americans and most of those serve on ships that doesn’t carry commercial cargo in overseas trade.

But maybe fellow seafarers on this forum have some compassion for those who are either stranded on board ships, or refused entry to many countries so they can get to their ships to relieve their colleagues:

PS> I don’t know if hospitality crew on cruise ships are included in the 1.6 Mill. but there is a lot of those that is in limbo around the world. Many have been exposed to the virus while caring for sick Pax, while the ship has been sailing from port to port looking for help.

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Canada is positioning itself as crew change hub:


If you have problem with crew change due to Covid-19, just make it across the border(??)

The deadline is today fort Governments and Authorities around the world to react to the crisis that is created by their reluctance to allow crew change:


There is a very real risk that many of the 300000 seafarers that has finished their contract, but is unable to go home, will down tool.

This will affect the supply chain and possibly block ports with idle ships, thus causing shortages in many parts of the world.

Gcaptain News also have an article about this today:

It is also getting attention in other Maritime media worldwide:

https://www.marineinsight.com/shipping-news/300000-seafarers-will-need-flights-for-purpose-of-crew-exchanges/#:~:text=300000%20Seafarers%20Will%20Need%20Flights%20For%20Purpose%20Of%20Crew%20Exchanges,the%20purpose%20of%20crew%20exchanges.

There appears to be agreement on the importance of fixing this problem for ALL seafarers (Not only nation by nation)

ITF and the Ship Manager’s organization InterManager is reacting to the reluctance of Governments and Authorities around the world to open up for crew change for seafarers that has been held onboard ships for much longer than their contract calls for:


Singapore is singled out as one of the places that is “all talk and no action”.
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good old MPA…
Singpore has opened up to Phase 2, but looks like they forgot to tell the MPA.
all Marina’s and clubs open but you cant take your boat out, not even a canoe.
The water is closed to pleasurecraft.

The long saga of delayed crew change due to Covid-19 will probably end one day, but what comes after?:

Higher wages? :roll_eyes:

You got it right to be cynical. All I see is a proposal to move the master and chief engineers responsibility’s ashore and a “todo” List being produced for the barely trained and poorly paid that are left onboard.
We had New Zealanders employed by Anglo Eastern at on time, the same manning agency that manned the livestock carrier.
As soon as they got the contract they started reducing wages and conditions until it got to a point where living in a 1st world country and being offered 3rd world wages and conditions became untenable.
You reap what you sow.

It is not only seafarers, shipowners and managers that is hurt by the present impasse on crew change.
The Shipping Agents around the world is struggling to arrange crew change for their clients in just about every port in the world:


GAC is one of the largest Agencies in the world, with offices on every continent, except Antarctica.