150,000 seafarers are in need of crew change by May 15

New data compiled by the International Chamber of Shipping ICS and the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) has found that 150,000 seafarers are in need of crew change by 15 May. This number is up by 50% from 100,000 when ICS first highlighted the problem with national governments and the G20. Continued inaction will see this number continue to rise as more seafarers require crew change, ICS warned in a release yesterday.

Among those who are due for crew changes 40,000 seafarers are 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.

Guy Platten, secretary general of the ICS, 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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