Thome signs up to Neptune declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change

The Thome Group has signed up to the Neptune declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change which recognises that stakeholders from across all sectors of the maritime industry have a shared responsibility to ensure that the current crew change crisis is resolved as quickly as possible.

The signatories of this declaration believe that the most effective way of addressing the crew change challenge and building a more resilient maritime logistics chain, is by working together across the value chain with industry stakeholders, organisations and with governments to implement solutions that work in practice.

Key issues to resolve include: Recognize seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to COVID-19 vaccines; Establish and implement gold standard health protocols based on existing best practise; Increase collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes; Ensure flight availability for seafarers between key maritime hubs.

“It is only by joining forces and working together towards common goals that we will be able to resolve this ongoing crisis,” said Claes Eek Thorstensen, Executive Vice Chairman of the Thome Group.

“Seafarers are the lifeblood of the maritime industry and it is our duty to help them by working together to resolve the outstanding issues caused by the pandemic. It is clearly unacceptable that crew are having to work beyond their contracts due to travel restrictions and various government directives which are preventing crew changes. If we all pull together we can resolve this crisis and put in safeguards that will allow crew changes to happen in a COVID secure way which is acceptable to all governments and port authorities. Our ultimate aim is to repatriate the crew whom are overdue for relieve. It is an unacceptable situation and we must do everything we can to resolve this situation as quickly as we can,” he continued.

Simon Frank, Thome’s CHRO added: “We have been working hard to try to get some stability for crew changes – which even in these uncertain times could help our seafarers have confidence in being safely repatriated at the end of their contracts or with embarkations when beginning a new one. We expect the Neptune Declaration to be a strong enabler to help with this stability.”