ITF News Update 8-12 February 2021

15 stranded Panama seafarers low on food and water | Mena FN – 8th Feb
Fifteen Panama sailors have been stranded for a month aboard the  Missi  Commander and are without food and drinking water is scarce reports  Noticias Caracol. The vessel flying the  Mongolian flag, was on a  five-day mission delivering fuel to the port of Santa Marta, Colombia,  but they ran out of gasoline and the mission was extended.

Neptune leads the way, but will everyone follow? | Lloyd’s List – 8th Feb

The latest industry effort to stem the crew change crisis that has  spiralled into a full-blown humanitarian crisis at sea pledges  co-operation and shared responsibility from the coalition of the  willing. But the persistent problems require the rhetoric to be matched  with action, and the unwilling to be called out

How many chief executive officers does it take to change a crew? More  than 500 supply chain heavyweights have now signed up to the Neptune  Declaration pledging to smooth seafarer passage on and off ships, but  crew change restrictions are tightening and can no longer be considered a  short-term issue that will evaporate with a vaccine


Greek tanker attacked, boarded in Gulf of Guinea | Maritime Bulletin – 8th Feb
Product tanker SEA PHANTOM was attacked and reportedly boarded, at around 2330 UTC Feb in Gulf of Guinea SW of Douala, Cameroon. The ship according to track, was en route from Lome Togo to Douala Cameroon, she’s trading in Gulf of Guinea since at least March 2020, calling mostly, Douala, Cameroon. Last ship’s available AIS was dated 2300 UTC Feb 6, half an hour before attack, she was under way sailing due E at some 12 knots speed. Awaiting further development, updates.


Coup affects crew at Petronas project in Myanmar | Lloyd’s List – 8th Feb

The Malaysian NOC said that about three dozen crew have already been  transferred to shore but another 155 workers are still at the offshore  project. Efforts have gone into ensuring these remaining crew will  continue to have access to daily essentials

Maritime ports, businesses prepare for another year without cruise ship passengers 
CTV News CA – 8th Feb

SAINT JOHN —  Another year of no cruise ship traffic comes as no surprise to  officials at Maritime ports of entry or local business owners who depend  on international passengers. With the federal government extending a  ban on cruise ships entering Canadian waters until at least Feb. 28,  2022, things won’t be the same for long while.


An inconvenient truth: Flags failing | Lloyd’s List – 8th Feb

Countries such as Togo, Tanzania, Djibouti and Cameroon are rarely  shipowners’ first choice to flag tankers. But for the subterfuge tanker  fleet that’s keeping sanctioned Venezuelan and Iranian crude flowing,  these little-known registries in the world’s poorest countries allow  them to hide in plain sight

A Lloyd’s List and Lloyd’s List Intelligence special investigation  details how, why, and which registries are flagging the Iranian and  Venezuelan-linked fleet of some 150 tankers that exploit regulatory  loopholes to ship millions of barrels of crude through the world’s  busiest waterways. This is part two of a series using data compiled from  Lloyd’s List Intelligence to shine a light on one of the darkest and  most opaque sub-sectors of energy commodities shipping


Is the crewing crisis getting worse? The Lloyd’s List Podcast – 8th Feb

Despite significant efforts by international organisations, unions,  companies and some governments to sort the crewing crisis, we are now  starting to see the situation getting worse as governments bring in more  travel bans in response to the new strains of coronavirus. On the  podcast this week to discuss the implications is Graham Westgarth,  chairman of V.Group, who warns that the crewing crisis yet to emerge  will be when seafarers decide not to return to work


China Bans Crew Changes on Two Fleets Showing the Ongoing Challenge Maritime Executive – 9th Feb

After agreeing to permit crew changes aboard some of the bulk  carriers stuck waiting off its coast, China’s Ministry of Transportation  announced actions to bar two shipping companies from conducting crew  changes due to the discovery of the coronavirus during rest tests aboard  two ships. At the same time, the Philippines is relaxing some of the  temporary measures it implemented at the end of 2020, but it still  highlights the challenges seafarers face due to the controls institute  in response to the virus

Philippines relaxes crew change restrictions for both Filipino nationals and foreigners effective 1 February 2021 Hellenic Shipping News – 9th Feb
The Philippines government has issued new guidelines on the arrival  of both Filipino nationals and foreigners. The government has ended its  temporary ban (effective until January 31 2021) on international crew  change for seafarers from vessels which had called at a list of 36  banned countries.

Stranded MSC seafarers headed for crew change in Japan Lloyd’s List – 9th Feb
Anastasia is the second dry bulker with Indian crew to have been  caught up in the China-Australia trade spat. The other vessel Jag Anand,  was allowed to do a crew change in Japan in January
Dozens of ships continue to lie offshore Chinese dry bulk discharge  ports as the trade dispute continues. Coronavirus control measures have  complicated crew changes amid this backdrop

Shipowners call for China’s intervention in Gulf of Guinea piracy | Lloyd’s List – 9th Feb
Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Co, BIMCO and International Chamber  of Shipping have asked Beijing to throw its weight behind international  efforts to deter rising piracy attacks in the region. The requests have  received positive responses from the ministry of transport

Pirates in the area now increasingly  attempt to hijack vessels and kidnap crew for ransom rather than just  for short-sea robberies. Ransoms are around $50,000 per seafarer while  the hostage can be kept for four to eight weeks, according to BIMCO

The Panama Maritime Authority Supports Seafarers On Panamanian Flag Vessels And Nationals On Foreign Flags | Hellenic Shipping News – 9th Feb
The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) through the General Directorate  of Seafarers (DGGM), has been managing various actions in two (2)  international cases, in order to safeguard the Panamanian crew members  who are on the ship “NISSI COMMANDER I” of the Mongolian Ship Registry,  as well as the crew of other nationalities who are on board the ship  named “IBA”, which belongs to the Panama Ship Registry, for which the  following actions have been taken:

Seafarers on abandoned bulker left with nowhere to turn | Trade Winds – 11th Feb
Hunger-striking seafarers  abandoned by owner and flag are torn between fighting for repatriation  or sticking up for their unpaid earnings

MSC Secures Crew Change for Stranded M/V Anastasia Seafarers G Captain – 11th Feb
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has announced an agreement to  disembark the stranded crew members of the bulk carrier Anastasia in  Japan.
The cargo ship has been stuck off the coast of China since September  with eighteen crew members on board, most of whom are of Indian  nationality.

Hearing delayed in crew abandonment case over Xihe Group ship arrest Trade Winds – 12th Feb
Planned hearing put off for a few days as insurer Gard seeks court approval to get crew home

International Investors Call on UN for Actions to Protect Seafarers | The Maritime Executive – 12th Feb
A group of 85 institutional investors representing over $2 trillion  in assets, joined forces calling on the United Nations to take further  action to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis for seafarers brought  on by the global restrictions enacted to control the coronavirus. In an  open letter to the UN Secretary-General, the investors in consultation  with key marine organizations such as the International Labor  Organisation and the International Transport Workers’ Federation added  their voice to the call to recognize seafarers as key workers and  specific actions to ensure crews’ health and safety while maintaining  global trade.

Maritime Union Unhappy with Government Policy on Quarantine for Seafarers | Handy Shipping Guide – 12th Feb

Nautilus,  the union which represents 20,000 maritime professionals including ship  masters (captains), officers and officer trainees, has urged the  government to rethink its policy to refuse key worker seafarers the  right not to refrain from hotel quarantine during the pandemic