Ocean Technologies Group (OTG) has joined a growing band of influential key maritime stakeholders by signing up to the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change.
The signatories of the declaration have pledged to work together across the value chain with industry stakeholders, organisations and governments to implement crew change solutions that work in practice.
The following key issues have been highlighted which are currently preventing crew changes and require urgent action: A lack of consistency in implementing internationally adopted high-quality health protocols which has led authorities to perceive seafarers as a COVID-19 risk, limiting global crew changes; The increased short-terms costs in the supply chain caused by the adoption of these new health protocols; The disruption of international air travel which has reduced the number of flights, causing connectivity issues between major crew change hubs and major seafaring nations, which has complicated crew changeovers.
The signatories will be working together to try to get governments to recognize seafarers as key workers so they can get priority access to COVID-19 vaccines, establish and implement gold standard health protocols based on existing best practice, increase collaboration between ship owners and charterers and ensure air connectivity between key seafarer maritime hubs.
“The seafarer is at the heart of everything we do here at Ocean Technologies Group and they are the key to our success and more importantly that of our customers. We want to do everything we can to help end this crew change crisis which has put our seafarers under intolerable strain with many working beyond the expiry of their contracts. As a third generation seafarer, I know how important it is for crew to know when they can get back to their families and not knowing that, because of the issues caused by the pandemic, is affecting the mental health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of seafarers. This simply cannot go on and Ocean Technologies Group will do all it can to try to influence key decision makers to recognize our onboard colleagues as key workers,” said Manish Singh, Ocean Technology Group’s CEO.