ITF News Update – 28th January to 3rd February 2022

End of the tunnel in sight for the crew change crisis as Denmark lifts virus restrictions | Splash 247 – 28th Jan

News this week that Denmark will end virus restrictions from the beginning of February and reclassify Covid-19 as a disease that no longer poses a threat to society has given the shipping industry a glimpse of a possible end to the pandemic restraints which have caused severe hardships to hundreds of thousands at sea over the past two years.


Bangladesh, India: Workers at Petrapole land port threaten strike from Jan. 31 | Crisis 24 – 28th Jan

Logistics workers at India’s Petrapole land port – the busiest border crossing for trade between India and Bangladesh – are threatening an indefinite work stoppage from Jan. 31. Organizers are denouncing alleged harassment by Indian border security forces over entry permits. An earlier work stoppage prompted by the new documentation rules Jan. 18-21 effectively suspended most import-export activities at the Indo-Bangladeshi border. Passenger transit between the countries and port operations at the Benapole land port in Bangladesh are typically unaffected during strikes.


USCG Medevacs Tanker Crew Member With Chemical Burns 190 Miles Off Texas | G Captain – 28th Jan

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center watchstanders received notification at 3:45 a.m. from personnel aboard the 525-foot chemical tanker Ginga Caracal that a crew member had sustained chemical burns and was in need of medical assistance.


Svitzer termination bid could risk Australian supply chains, harm Maersk reputation | ITF Seafarers – 30th Jan

An application by A.P. Møller–Mærsk’s towage subsidiary, Svitzer, to terminate its collective agreement with its entire Australian workforce could further deepen the country’s supply chain woes. Unions say the bid is an unfortunate, but major, departure from Maersk’s generally constructive approach towards transport workers and their rights, witnessed in recent years.


Taiwanese vessel seized by US on forced labor charge | Taipei Times – 30th Jan

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized the catch of a Taiwanese fishing vessel that was flying a “flag of convenience” and using forced labor, the agency said on Friday.


Woodside awards Svitzer towage contract for Western Australia LNG terminal | Offshore Energy – 31st Jan

Svitzer, towage operator and part of Maersk, will provide services to Woodside Energy’s LNG export operations in the Port of Dampier, starting from the end of 2023.


Seafarer presumed dead after going overboard from a cargo ship off Turkey | Safety 4 Sea – 31st Jan

A crew member is missing and is presumed dead after going overboard from a general cargo ship off Turkey, on January 26.


Drop-off in labour standards reporting from flag states | Splash 247 – 1st Feb

The annual Shipping Industry Flag State Performance Table from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has identified reporting on seafarer wellbeing as a “casualty of the pandemic”.


Seafarers are unhappy with the state of the maritime world | Yahoo News – 1st Feb

The Seafarers Happiness Index (SHI) showed indicators that the enduring coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a significant decline in seafarers’ happiness levels.


Captain and helmsman arrested for abandoning ship that went adrift | NL Times – 1st Feb

The captain and first mate of the cargo ship Julietta D, which went adrift on Monday, were arrested as part of an investigation into their possible premature abandonment of the ship. A spokesperson for the National Unit of the Dutch police force announced this after it was reported by regional broadcaster NH Nieuws.


New U.S. Virgin Islands Open Registry Officially Launched | G Captain – 1st Feb

Maritime unions have issued a joint statement condemning the idea.


Three dead, seven missing as vessel explodes in Nigerian waters | Nigerian Tribune – 3rd Feb

Three seafarers have been confirmed dead while the whereabouts of seven others remain unknown after a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, Trinity Spirit, exploded on Wednesday.


Tugboat crew member injured during Hurricane Ida claims negligence | Southeast Texas Record – 3rd Feb

Michael Ford filed a complaint Jan. 28 in Harris County against Kirby Corporation and Kirby Inland Marine LP alleging negligence and other claims.