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.
The International Harbour Masters' Association is the professional body for those with responsibility for the safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sound conduct of marine operations in port waters.
With members in more than 50 countries, the Association brings together Harbour Masters and all those who hold a managerial position in aspects of the control of marine operations within a port.
Deputy Master Captain Ian McNaught describes the impact made by COVID-19 on the safety and charity operations of Trinity House and the work being done to move forward
Working to keep seafarers safe and supported
‘Following the recent revision to the Government’s lockdown restrictions, we at Trinity House are looking closely at how we can manage a safe return to full operational capacity as both a General Lighthouse Authority and a major maritime charity.
‘First and foremost—given that our statutory work as a General Lighthouse Authority and the objectives of the Trinity House Maritime Charity are all being delivered to a high standard—we are confident that we can take the time to get this right and do it properly.
‘Our people’s safety—both at sea and on shore—is our priority; we will continue to focus on delivering our various responsibilities and make our return to offices and depots when it is safe and appropriate, with all safety measures fully in place. As an organisation we have adapted quickly and deftly to remote working, making extensive use of technology to enhance collaboration and communication across shore teams and vessel crews.
At the start of June it was reported that the Hapag-Lloyd container ship Montpellier (IMO 9314973) had completed her 14-day period of quarantine and would be allowed to enter port at Durban. This was after several members of the crew were tested positive with the coronavirus. Before the ship entered port another crew member was tested positive, meaning a second 14-day period of quarantine for the ship and her cargo, which could not be discharged in Durban nor new cargo loaded.
The vessel is deployed on Hapag-Lloyd’s MIAX service between the Middle East, India, South Africa and West Africa.
It was second time lucky after the extra period of quarantine expired last week, (week ending 20 June) and with a clean bill of health the ship was able to enter port, at the time 28 days over her schedule. She entered port last week to have the ship fully cleaned and disinfected prior to cargo operations commencing on 18 June and to have all the Durban-bound and Cape Town-bound containers offloaded.
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As a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.