The crew change crisis among the seafarers, ship owners, and managers in India are getting worse with the escalating costs undertaken to swap crews after they fulfill the tenures in contracts.
In an interview by the Indian Express, Amitabh Kumar, Director-general of Shipping spoke about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on the shipping industry, and the efforts taken by the government for the welfare of the mariners and their jobs.
According to data from crew manning agencies and different shipping companies, 18,000 Indian seafarers stuck at ports globally have been successfully repatriated to India, whereas 4,000 still await repatriation in vessels that are still at sea.
India’s National Union of Seafarers(NUSI), on Sunday, said that they were putting ahead a proposal to the Indian Prime Minister’s Office for voting rights onboard ships, gratuity fund, and other welfare initiatives for Indian seafarers.
MBPT achieved rare feet of simultaneous sign-off of 912 crew from Cruise ship ‘Anthem of Seas’ and sign-on of the equal number on another cruise ship ‘Celebrity Infinity’ in a single day on June 16, 2020, with advance planning of port, various government authorities, and the shipping agent.
About 650 stranded Indian seafarers on cruise ship Marella Cruises’ Explorer staged protests against the conditions they had been living.
An approximated 20,000 Indian seafarers sign on or off merchant vessels all over the world each month. Indian governmental agencies have joined hands with shipping and manning agencies to repatriate an approximated 20,000 Indian seafarers stranded abroad.
Government of India will be facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in a phased manner. The travel would be arranged by aircraft and naval ships.
Union Minister of State for Shipping interacted via video conference with the Ship Liners, Shipping Companies, Maritime Associations, Seafarers Unions regarding the change of crew at Indian Ports and reconnoitered the situation of Indian seafarers working as well as stranded in the International waters.