Crew Repatriations

Instruct Us
Name Crew Repatriations
Date 18 June 2020
Year of Build N/A
Casualty type General Enquiry
Vessel Type N/A

This notice is by way of a general advice in light of a very worrying developing situation which we believe needs highlighting.

A number of reports are emerging that the International Transport Workers' Federation and affiliated seafarers' unions are encouraging what may be hundreds of thousands of seafarers to take matters into their own hands and stop working on their ships around the world.

This comes after crew-members have been trapped on board their vessels for months since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is because almost all governments internationally refuse to allow them to come ashore or to swap with new crew members at the completion of their contracts. There are now genuine concerns regarding fatigue, the mental and physical health of those sailors, as well as vessel maintenance and hygiene. As a result the unions are actively encouraging their members to enforce their right to stop working and to return home by any means possible. They are being urged to treat themselves as passengers on board their own vessels if their contracts have already come to an end and they are unable to be repatriated.

If crew members do follow this advice, it raises the very real prospect of cargo ships of all classes being unable to continue to function because ships will potentially fall below the minimum manning requirements and therefore not be permitted to sail (or be unseaworthy if they do).

The implications of this, not only for the marine insurance community, but for global trade generally, are self-apparent. Whilst we are monitoring the situation, we would urge anyone that may have influence with the maritime authorities within their own countries to make urgent representations to encourage them to allow crew transfers and the continued safety of shipping worldwide.

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Crew Repatriations