ITF News Update: 21 – 26 May 2021

Global vaccine rollout needed to stop crew crisis third wave | ITF Seafarers – 21st May

Seafarers’ unions today challenged governments, particularly those with maritime responsibilities, to endorse universal access to Covid-19 vaccines to prevent the crew change crisis from spiraling out of control for a third time.


US vaccine programmes offer hope for seafarers | Lloyd’s List – 21st May

More seafarers are being vaccinated in or near US ports with the help of maritime charities as drive is widened to non-American workers. Meanwhile, the International Transport Workers’ Federation has called for universal access to vaccines to prevent the crew change crisis from spiralling out of control for a third time


Vaccination Efforts Accelerate for Seafarers | Maritime Executive – 21st May

Efforts to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for seafarers are continuing to accelerate while the unions continue to call for efforts to make the vaccines more widely available. Developed nations around the globe are responding to the calls to make the vaccine more widely available to include crew members from all countries and some efforts are even going on to the ships to administer the vaccine.


Israel: Ravenna dockers say they won’t load weapons | Ansa – 21st May

(ANSA) – ROME, MAY 21 – Italy’s three big trade union confederations said Friday that workers in the port of Ravenna will refuse to load any eventual “weapons, explosives or other materials of war that could fuel the conflict between Israel and Hamas”.


Durban dockers refuse to unload Zim ship over Palestine conflict | Trade Winds – 21st May

Israeli-chartered vessel targeted by South Africa’s Trade and Allied Workers Union


IMO Calls for Redoubled Efforts to Combat West African Piracy | Maritime Executive – 24th May

The global maritime community is calling for enhanced efforts to tackle the rising menace of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea with the adoption of new IMO resolutions on increased collaboration.


Oxygen concentrators sent to India to save seafarers’ lives | ITF Seafarers – 24th May

Hundreds of lives will be saved thanks to two new emergency projects being funded by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust and delivered through two Indian-based seafarers’ unions.


Egyptian court rejects Ever Given owner’s appeal against detention | Lloyd’s List – 24th May

An Egyptian court has rejected an appeal by the Japanese owner of containership Ever Given against the vessel’s detention in the Suez Canal, where it blocked traffic for six days in March after becoming grounded

A further hearing will be held on May 29, UK P&I club says, as the legal battle to release the vessel continues


Portuguese flag aims to continue rise with opening of new Greek branch | Lloyd’s List – 24th May

Managers of the country’s international registry say full digitalisation has proved an advantage during the pandemic

Greek market is ‘potentially the biggest and most important’ for the International Shipping Register of Madeira, according to regional executive director Carla Olival

Explosion rocks X-Press Pearl, all crew evacuated as Sri Lanka prepares for the worst | Splash 247 – 25th May
The situation on the X-Press Pearl deteriorated dramatically today. The three-month old, 2,700 teu ship, carrying 25 tons of nitric acid, caught fire on Thursday off Colombo Port with Sri Lanka deploying aircraft and navy vessels to assist in firefighting. 


Norway Removes Quarantine Hotel Requirement for Seafarers & Persons Performing Special Social Functions | Schengenvisainfo News – 25th May

Based on the Norwegian Directorate of Health and Institute of Public Health recommendations, from May 21, the Danish Government has exempted seafarers and persons carrying out essential tasks in Norway from the requirement of quarantine hotels.


Ban on Crew Changes Starts to Bite as Oxygen Equipment Distributed in India | Handy Shipping Guide – 25th May

INDIA – With the country’s health system teetering on the brink of collapse in the wake of the unprecedented Indian Covid-19 outbreak, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) Seafarers’ Trust is offering much needed support by providing oxygen concentrators and emergency supplies for affected seafarers and their families.


Posidonia: Greece Leads the Way in Mediterranean Cruise Travel Restart | Greek Travel Pages – 26th May

Global cruise companies are hoping to stimulate traveler interest and kick-start operations from Greece this summer, offering the country a unique chance to play a leading role as an embarkation destination in the coming years.


CDC Permits First Cruises to Sail from U.S. Ports Starting in June | Maritime Executive – 26th May

The efforts to resume cruising from U.S. ports took a step forward with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issuing its first provisional acceptance letter for a simulated cruise and late today saying it would also permit the first fully vaccinated cruise ship to resume sailing in late June. The Royal Caribbean Group announced that two of its brands will operate the first cruises from U.S. ports since March 2020.


California’s massive container-ship traffic jam is still really jammed | Freight Waves – 26th May

Maersk warns of ‘dire’ congestion situation in Oakland