ITF News Update: 27th May to 3rd June 2021

Sinking of barge P305, tugboat: 52 bodies handed over to families, 27 yet unidentified | India Today – 27th May

Authorities have recovered 79 bodies of crew members who died after barge P305 and tugboat Varprada sank off the Mumbai coast during Cyclone Tauktae. Of these 79, 52 were identified and handed over to the family, while 27 bodies were yet to be identified.


Relief Fund Raises $530,000 for Seafarers Impacted by COVID-19 | Maritime Logistics Professional – 27th May

Only three weeks after launching, a relief fund established to help seafarers and the families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic has collected $530,000 in pledges to date, nearly $400,000 of which has already been allocated to help those worst affected.


X-Press Pearl clean-up under way as blaze ‘contained considerably’ | Lloyd’s List – 28th May

The chemical fire has decayed but flames and smoke are still being emitted. Tugs and the Sri Lankan navy continued to spray the ship as weather improved on Friday

Sri Lanka’s government started cleaning up chemical debris from the fire-stricken X-Press Pearl as the blaze reached its eighth day


Australia bans bulker for three years | Lloyd’s List – 28th May

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has banned a bulker technically managed by a Turkish company and owned by a Qatari shipping firm for 36 months owing to ‘serious deficiencies’

This is the second bulker owned and managed by the two companies to be blocked from entering Australian ports in the space of a month


What’s in the Biden budget for maritime? | Marine Log – 29th May

The Biden administration has released its FY 2022 budget request. For many in the U.S. maritime industry, among the most significant programs to look at are those administered by the Department of Transportation.


Goa seafarers say gap between vaccine doses may hamper job prospects | Deccan Herald – 31st May

Even as the Goa government has decided to give priority to seafarers in vaccination against Covid-19, an association of sailors has said they may lose their jobs due to the nearly three-month gap between two doses of the Covishield vaccine.


Nationwide seafarer vaccination programme launches in India | Splash 247 – 31st May

India’s Maritime Association of Shipowners Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA) on Monday said it will launch a nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive in association with various maritime bodies to inoculate Indian seafarers free of cost in the months to come.


Seafarers stranded onboard vessels beyond contract expiry up 24% in May | Seatrade Maritime News – June 1st

The indicator based on data from 10 leading ship managers showed that 7.4% of crew onboard were past their contract expiry in May, compared to 5.8% in the previous month, a relative increase of 24.1%. However, the number of seafarers onboard vessels for over 11 months has decreased from 0.8% to 0.4%, corresponding to a 50% relative decrease.


June Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator shows increase in seafarers stranded onboard vessels | Hellenic Shipping News – 2nd June

Increasing infection rates in key crew source countries and stricter crew-change protocols in major crew-change hubs are seen as main drivers for delayed and complicated crew changes.


Seafarers – scum of the earth | Splash 247 – 2nd June

“When you chose going to sea as a career did you know you were becoming the scum of the earth?” This is the question a senior executive of a large shipmanagement company asked me as I was having a drink with him in Hong Kong. My reply was, “No, but in fact in my day we were not as badly treated as seafarers are today.” The further east in the world we have gone to look for cheap labour the worse has become the plight of the seafarer.


Brazil bans disembarkation of international crew at its ports | Seatrade Maritime News – 2nd June

Brazil’s federal government has restricted the arrival in the country of foreign seafarers working onboard vessels or platforms to prevent the circulation of new Covid-19 strains in the country.


87% of seafarers still to receive a first vaccine according to initial results of BMA mental health survey | Hellenic Shipping News – 3rd June

The Seafarer COVID-19 Welfare Survey announced recently by The Bahamas Maritime Authority has already garnered very high levels of support from maritime organisations and seafarers themselves. But the initial responses received from seafarers are demonstrating that the vast majority, 87%, are still to receive a first vaccine.


Belgium Starts EU’s First Seafarer COVID Vaccinations  | Maritime Executive – 3rd June

Belgium has become the first country in the European Union to launch a program to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for seafarers. The effort, which began on June 1, joins a growing number of countries that are launching programs to make the inoculations available to the maritime community.