Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Call to governments
IFSMA* calls upon Governments to adopt the ‘Framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic’ without delay to allow ship owners and management companies to change over their dangerously tired crews.
Governments must act now in order to avoid personal injury to, and mental breakdown of, seafarers and avoid the significant risk of accidents and consequential danger to life and the environment.
Concern at IFSMA
IFSMA is receiving an increasing number of reports from its ship masters’ associations around the world concerned for the welfare and safety of crews and the increased risk with which they are operating in an already high risk environment. Seafarers are feeling let down and abandoned by their Governments.
Following concerns from the maritime industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a circular to all Member States, the UN and agencies and IGOs and NGOs in consultative status with IMO. This document concerned recommendations to Member States about measures to facilitate ship crew changes in seaports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IMO Secretary General has received a framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic, proposed by a cross-section of global industry associations in consultative status with the IMO, for example: ICS, IAPH, BIMCO, IFSMA, and P&I Clubs as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Of this document the Secretary-General supports these protocols and urges their implementation. Member States and international organizations are invited to make use of the framework and to disseminate it among relevant national authorities with responsibility for maritime issues, health, customs, immigration, border control, seaport and civil aviation authorities; and to liaise with relevant national authorities with respect to the use and implementation of this Framework, as appropriate. (ENDS)
The *International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA see: www.ifsma.org was established in 1974 to uphold International Standards of Professional Competence for Shipmasters and Seafarers.
It is a Federation with a policy to ensure Safe Operational Practices, Preservation from Human Injury, Protection of the Marine Environment and Safety of Life and Property at Sea.
In 1975, IFSMA was granted Consultative Status as a non-governmental, apolitical organisation at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which enables it to represent the views and protect the interests of the world’s serving Shipmasters unfettered and unfiltered by others.
Can they go home when they reach port?
Photo: Ambrose Greenway ©.
Can crew change be accomplished, maybe not?
Photo: Ambrose Greenway ©.
DFDS’s newest ro-ro vessel, Humbria Seaways, commissioned in February this year, berthed at North Sea Port in mid-September. Her first port visit here was to the Mercatordok terminal in Ghent which handles high volumes of transhipment cargo.
Between Gothenburg in Sweden and North Sea Port this service is one of the most important on the North Sea for DFDS. Conversely, DFDS is a top customer for North Sea Port. With five calls each week, the Danish shipping and logistics group is one of the port’s most frequent users. DFDS’s blue and white ships have been a familiar sight on the Western Scheldt, in the lock at Terneuzen, on the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal and at Mercatordok for many years.
DFDS was particularly busy this month at the Mercatordok terminal in Ghent. In the words of Alain De Brauwer, Route Operations Manager for DFDS Seaways in Belgium: ‘We always have a lot of cargo ready for shipment and we receive large volumes from Sweden. So when a bigger ship calls, it always comes in handy.’
Humbria Seaways was briefly available to ship some extra cargo. The ship had just come out of dry dock and made a quick crossing from Gothenburg to Ghent and back before switching to another one of the shipping company’s routes. As always, there was a tight schedule.
Humbria Seaways is one of the newest Mega Ro-Ros built for DFDS in China. Vessels in this class are 237 metres loa and 33 metres wide notable for their unusually large cargo capacity with up to 6,700 line metres of cargo.
Trinity House has appointed a new Director of Navigational Requirements following the retirement of Captain Roger Barker MNM FNI on 13 September 2020.
Roger joined Trinity House in July 2005 as Navigation (Examiner) Manager after a career in commercial shipping, a subject that he remains passionate about. He was promoted to Director of Navigational Requirements (DNR) in May 2009 and was sworn in as an Elder Brother of Trinity House at the same time.
As DNR he took on a wide range of duties and responsibilities in the service of the mariner. While governing Trinity House through both the Lighthouse Board and the Corporate Board, he also sat on the Executive Committee and the Examiners’ Committee; any major decision made by Trinity House in the last decade will have benefitted from Roger’s enthusiastic and sage input.
Roger is also a keen advocate and adopter of technology, and this was readily apparent in his assessment of potential hazards to navigation such as shipwrecks and other new dangers at sea, liaising with Trinity House’s Planning Centre at all hours and consulting hydrographic surveys and charts overlaid with marine traffic analysis on his ever-present tablet.
Among other things, he also played a major part at IALA, being a leading voice on the Aids to Navigation Requirements and Management Committee, as well as being a frequent liaison with various maritime partners such as the UKHO and the MCA; he was also a Board member for the Trinity House Maritime Charity and Seafarers UK, these latter roles reflecting a lifelong passion for the wellbeing and education of mariners.
Roger will continue to be an important part of Trinity House despite retiring from his role as DNR. He will become the Nether Warden and will retain the role of Director of Deep Sea Pilotage for the next two years.
In November 2016, Roger was awarded the Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service for services to the Merchant Navy; the medal was presented by HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony in Trinity House.