Due to the pandemic caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) since the end of March to date, the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) has achieved that more than 4,500 people (between passengers and crew) of various nationalities, including Panamanians, who were aboard passenger ships, cargo, fishing and yachts, within the waters of the Republic of Panama returned to their homes safely, in addition that some 271 crew members could embark.
This effort has been possible through the use of the instructions found in the Diagram of the modalities for the repatriation, disembarkation and embarkation of crew members, which includes seven (7) different modalities, which were prepared in coordination by the AMP, the Ministry of Health (MINSA), National Migration Service (SNM), Civil Aeronautics Authority (AAC), National Customs Authority (ANA), Tocumen International Airport SA and the Ministry of Foreign Relations (MINREX).
The most recent repatriation was carried out through modality N ° 1 that corresponds to charter flight, achieving that some twenty (20) crew members of various nationalities who were in national waters in ships of renowned shipping company Maersk, could return to their homes.
The first group, made up of thirteen (13) crew members of the San Parsley ship, managed to be repatriated thanks to a humanitarian flight, on Sunday, July 12, 2020.
The second group, made up of seven (7) crew members of the Rhine Maersk ship, managed to return to their homes also by means of a humanitarian flight, yesterday, July 16, 2020.
“It is important to highlight the existing collaboration between the AMP and the Maersk company, and at all times these operations were carried out under strict biosecurity protocols established by MINSA, once the landing of these valuable seafarers, the same they were transferred to the international airport to board a plane from the same shipping line, which will take them to Amsterdam and Copenhagen, from where they will take connections to their countries of origin, “said the Director, of the Directorate General of Ports and Auxiliary Maritime Industries ( DGPIMA), Flor Pitty who, in company with the AMP General Secretary, Elvia Bustavino supervised these tasks.
“Our colleagues at sea play an essential role in our ability to serve our customers and keep supply chains moving. Our sincere thanks to the Panamanian authorities and to the colleagues / staff involved in Maersk Panama and the Americas Liner Operation Cluster (LOC) in achieving this key milestone, ”said Pavan Chhabra, Head of Americas Marine of Maersk.
“The AMP will continue to provide its support to seafarers so that they can be repatriated as indicated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and we urge the other shipping lines to make use of the instructions we have prepared to make the safe changes Crew ”, concluded Director Pitty.