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.
US Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Georgia, crew members were recognized on 21 February for their response during the Golden Ray rescue of September 2019.
Rear-Admiral Eric Jones, Coast Guard 7th District commander, and Master Chief Petty Officer Devin Spencer, 7th District Command Master Chief, presented Air Medals to Lieutenant Robert Mineo and Lieutenant Jeb Slick, both helicopter pilots, and to Petty Officer 1st Class Eric Young and Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan Newberg, both aviation survival technicians.
Jones and Spencer also presented Coast Guard Commendation Medals to Petty Officer 2nd Class Jared Blitz, an aviation maintenance technician, and Petty Officer Joseph Kelly, an avionics electrical technician.
Mineo, Slick, Young, and Newberg, Blitz, and Kelly were instrumental in rescuing crew members from the motor vessel Golden Ray, a 656-foot vehicle carrier that capsized in Brunswick, Georgia with 24 people aboard.
On 8 September 2019, Coast Guard Air Station Savannah aircrews responded to Golden Ray, one of the most significant cases of Air Station Savannah’s history.
Before daybreak, they hoisted five survivors to safety, including the ship’s Master and skilfully managed the safe withdrawal of the pilot boat captain to a Coast Guard Station Brunswick small boat waiting below.
After daybreak, with four crewmembers trapped still inside Golden Ray , aircrews conducted multiple sorties, delivering rescue personnel and critical tools to the disabled vessel by using its starboard side as a landing pad until the remaining four missing crew members were rescued.
All 24 persons aboard Golden Ray were rescued.
Our picture shows Coast Guard and salvage crews extracting the remaining four Golden Ray crew members on 9 September, 2019, in St. Simons Sound, Brunswick, Georgia. The crew members were transported by a Coast Guard Station Brunswick 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew to Glenn County EMS for further medical evaluation. (The US Coast Guard photo is by Coast Guard Station Brunswick. USCG ©.
Our picture shows a Carnival line up. Five Carnival ships are due in Durban in week commencing 24 May. (Photo: www.africaports.co.za )
No less than five Carnival Cruise ships are due to arrive in Durban between 26 and 28 May to take on bunkers and to restock depleted supplies.
These five ships are part of a group of 12 engaged in the humanitarian task of repatriating over 26,000 crew from the Carnival fleet and other companies, as well as personnel from entertainment centres ashore, who because of the coronavirus pandemic, have had their employment suddenly curtailed.
Hotel staff and entertainers
These are the entertainment staff, the onboard shop workers, beauty salon practitioners, waiters and bus boys, chefs and kitchen staff, cabin cleaners, pursers and front desk people all making up the staff working on board cruise ships.
With cruising curtailed these former employees are finally returning home to destinations like India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines after having remained on board their ships for more than two months, unable to go ashore or receive visitors ever since cruising operations were suspended in mid -March. Ahead they face another three or four weeks at sea before being allowed to disembark. However, there’s something of a problem.
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).