InterManager, the international trade association for the ship and crew management sector, has launched a ‘Maritime Champions League’ to recognise the crew repatriation efforts of the maritime industry during the COVID-19.
The Maritime Champions League is a website where ship managers can share their successful crew repatriation achievements and figures, irrespective of whether they are in-house or third party.
As widely reported, seafarers are facing an unprecedented crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as they have been unable to conduct crew changes and some of them are stuck onboard ships for much longer than originally planned.
The association said that the main driver behind the move was to provide the public with the information from shipowners and crew managers who have been working on facilitating crew changes during the pandemic.
“Both the mainstream and maritime press continue to paint a bleak picture of the shipping industry, undermining the tremendous efforts undertaken by many ship and crew managers, which has been causing sorrow and demotivation among the seafaring community,” the association explained.
“Some ship managers are making huge strides, and some have only changed the circumstances of a handful of seafarers, but every little helps,” said Capt. Kuba Szymanski, Secretary General of InterManager.
“InterManager believes that we need to reward those who – instead of simply talking – have rolled up their sleeves and immediately started working to find ways of repatriating their sea staff and seafarers.
“It is hoped that this table will convey a clear message to all industry stakeholders that the maritime industry has not forgotten their seafarers, and that we are willing and able to conduct crew changes and show utilised routes.
“The Maritime Champions League table will also detail the nationalities of those who have been relieved, and will show the efforts of national administrations and their willingness to cooperate and be an inspiration for those who are still in the planning phase, and not just bury themselves under the bureaucratic duvet.
“By working collectively, we can pool our resources for crew changes and achieve far more than we could alone.”
“It is hoped that this will serve as an inspiration for those who are still dragging their heels, and provide the seafaring community with much-needed peace of mind that they have the support of the entire industry behind them.”