“I am ashamed to be an executive in the maritime industry! This is because I have not been able to find a way to make the conditions of service improve. It is sad and disheartening to see the drivel being trotted out by all those in the establishment on this day of global shame, the Day of the Seafarer. Shame on all those who trot out more platitudes and statements of support without being loud and disruptive.” said Frank Coles in a LinkedIn post.
“I am ashamed to be an executive in the maritime industry!
Frank Coles, former CEO of Transas and Wallem Group started a petition asking his social media followers to sign and share a simple seafarer travel petition, asking the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and other world leaders to protect and prioritize seafarer travel without difficult visas regulations.
“We must get the world leadership to create a protocol that sets out the right of seafarers to travel to and from ships without the onerous regulations for visas,” says Coles. He continues with” The industry will comply with vaccines and isolation, but we must have a global enforceable protocol for the repatriation of mariners and health care in ports.”
The petition has surpassed 11,000 signatures and the current goal is 15,000 signatures to become one of the top signed on Change.org
It is a well-known fact that the world’s seafarers have faced many challenges in the wake of COVID-19 while tirelessly working to keep the global economy and supply chain moving.
The effect of the pandemic has touched all our lives. But it is no secret that the lives of the hundreds of thousands of seafarers have changed and turned upside down. Their daily reality consists of the crew-change crisis resulting in cancelled repatriation unable to go home to see their loved ones, social isolation, 8-16 months at sea, fatigue and mental illness.
At one point, over 500,000 seafarers were stranded on their ships, but they still worked on.
On the other side, seafarers ashore were unable to join their ships and support their families.
In order to keep their job, seafarers have been facing many injustices. The pandemic has changed their work conditions and changed their lives. But this pandemic has also highlighted the critical need of reinforcing infrastructures regarding port access, crew changeovers, repatriation and access to vaccination.
The paradox is how we can travel on holidays or attend sports matches with thousands of enthusiasts, but crucial seafarers who deliver 80% of everything we use, have a hard time going home or to work.
We must understand that it’s people, not ships, that deliver the world’s goods.
In the end we must understand that it’s people, not ships, that deliver the world’s goods. Once we have understood, governments and ship owners need to support and protect seafarers during this pandemic.
Article by MARPRO, written by Marketing Manager Narjiss Ghajour. Quotes and petition shared by courtesy of Frank Coles.