Hats off to our crews
In a backup role to the frontline health workers fighting the Covid-19 virus, merchant seamen are a vital link in the transport chain to supply food to populations. With the closing of national borders and the grounding of air services, organizing relief crews has been impossible. This has put the men and women on board our ships in a difficult situation. Alone and far from their families for several months now, they continue to work unstintingly despite the stress and fatigue. Marfret is looking at ways to reduce their workload and to allow them to find some moments of rest.
A glimmer of hope appeared on 8th April last, with the European Commission issued guidelines for countries to designate ports at which crew changeovers could be organized. “These specially-designated ports would cover the entire European Union and be linked to operating airports and railway stations. Regular or charter air and rail services could then provide transport for the relief crews, this allowing seafarers to be quickly brought home,” says Brussels.