9 Chinese and Filipino seafarers, some of who have been onboard their Panama-flagged cargo ship Brio Faith for 20 months with no leave, will be reunited with their families after an intervention by the AMSA.
According to an inspector with the International Transport Workers’ Federation, seven international workers who have been stuck on board a container ship for more than a year will be repatriated.
The Philippine government has repatriated a total of 204,481 overseas Filipinos that are mainly sea-based and land-based workers from all over the world, after almost 7 months since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in February this year.
Passenger and repatriation flights are essential to allow stranded seafarers to go home, and for their relief crews to be able to join ships.
11 Filipino crew members of Oceanstar 86 are set to fly back to the Philippines, after being forced to quarantine on their vessel in China for 6 months.
Some 400,000 seafarers from across the globe are now stranded on ships, continuing to work but unable to be relieved, in a deepening crew change crisis which threatens trade and maritime safety.
ITF and the IMEC have jointly contributed US$500,000 to the Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund to support countries that adopt best practices for crew change.
National COVID-19 containment measures, including travel restrictions and border closures, continue to make it increasingly difficult for ship operators worldwide to conduct required crew changes.
The ITF has been a key player every step of the way from the inception of the new IMO policy to its implementation.