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150,000 seafarers stranded, in need of crew change

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Shipping. Photo: fglobalshipping

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the International Maritime Employers Council (IMEC), have said that 150,000 seafarers are in dire need of crew change before May 15th.

The number is up by 50 per cent from 100,000 when ICS first highlighted the problem national governments and the G20.

The continued inaction of governments and employers would lead to the number rising further, as more seafarers would be in need of crew change.

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Among those who are due for the crew, changes are 40,000 seafarers from the Philippines, 20,000 from India, 15,000 from Ukraine, and 10,000 from China.

“The current situation risks the safety and mental wellbeing of seafarers. While the continued inability to rotate seafarers on and off ships poses a serious threat to the ability of ships to deliver vital cargo at a time when countries need it most,” the ICS stated.

The shipping industry has been negotiating with national and international authorities in recent weeks to try and resolve the issue with some limited progress reported.

Secretary-general of the ICS, Guy Platten, said: “Globally there are 1.2 million seafarers onboard 65,000 ships at sea. For the past two months, crew change has all but completely stopped. This means that crew have not been able to disembark or embark ships at port and terms have had to be extended, but this is not sustainable.”

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