InterManager’s President Mark O’Neil campaigned for collective efforts in retrospect of 2021
Looking back, 2021 has been enormously challenging for the maritime industry. After observing tremendous improvements later this year, O’Neil appealed for continued efforts across nations and bodies to support seafarers in 2022 and beyond through an exclusive with a media.
2021 as a barometer for 2022’s actions
O’ Neil acknowledged 2021 was trying pertaining to crew matters. He said, “Achieving timely crew change became something of an art as crewing departments navigate ever-changing regulations, border closures, and soaring airfares.” However, he is heartened to witness collaborations between organisations to recognise seafarers as key workers, and prioritise them for vaccination against COVID-19. Additionally, the world is beginning to fathom the vital role shipping plays in the global supply chain.
Seafaring’s reputation as a career option was not unscathed. Calling it a people industry, O’Neil outlined some measures taken, which included providing connectivity for crew to be in touch with families, improved onboard facilities and extending other forms of assistance to seafarers needing help.
Industry players banding together to facilitate crew repatriation and offer onboard vaccinations reflected shipping as a community, in spite of companies’ competing on business levels. O’ Neil noted the industry-wide recognition for the need for improved provision of medical oxygen onboard ships was significant. When InterManager members raised the alarm after near-deaths on ocean-going voyages due to inadequate oxygen supply, the association swiftly advised adopting a new, voluntary stock level and advocated the use of oxygen concentrators. It even negotiated a special price to ensure safety could be enhanced without busting budgets.
The pandemic is not expected to ease in 2022, and underscored the much-needed attention to address challenges in shipping. InterManager would be formulating a new industry general principles, and an enhanced code of conduct for its members to be introduced early next year. The new principles will give confidence to ship operators that an InterManager member will operate with high standards and meet expectations. The association will continue to advocate the one voice approach in 2022. O’Neil stressed that it should be a collective voice with all sectors represented and speaking together.
Crewing Online News Team
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