Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, seafarers are having to extend their service onboard ships after many months at sea, unable to be replaced following long tours of duty or return home, as flights to repatriate for onboard crew continue to be unavailable. Dubai-based Tomini Shipping says it is time for governments worldwide to take action.
According to Nitin Mehta, CEO, “The shipping industry needs governments to support our seafarers and aid their safe return home to their families, to be replaced with crew ready to continue to keep supply chains open. Shipping is vital to the maintenance of global supply chains, but the current situation is unsustainable for the safety and wellbeing of ships’ crews and the safe operation of vessels.”
Tomini believes that seafarers are “unrecognised heroes” who everyday throughout this COVID-19 crisis are going above and beyond the call of duty. Mehta adds, “The failure to acknowledge that seafarers are key workers will have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of our crew as well as a detrimental impact on global trade. This is vitally important to the shipping industry as it facilitates the movement of 90% of the world’s goods.”