Empty Ships, Empty Seas

by Ivana-Maria Carrioni-Burnett - published -
164

Empty Ships, Empty Seas
Article first published by Human Rights at Sea (https://www.humanrightsatsea.org). All statements and opinions are from the author.

The current plight many seafarers are facing, unable to crew change or return home, is being described by many voices within the maritime community as the next humanitarian crisis.”

At present, the solution being adopted by a significant number of flag states, companies and crewing agencies across the globe is to extend the contracts of those currently at sea. The continual extension of seafarer’s contracts, on a large scale, is not a sustainable solution.  It does not take into account the increasing levels of exhaustion and deteriorating mental health of those onboard. Nor does it consider those seafarers stuck ashore, unable to financially support themselves and their families, who will in time look for work elsewhere.

There have been some suggestions that seafarers should go on strike or shipping should be suspended. What would such a world look like from a UK perspective?

Inevitably, there will be a run on the fuel stations. Just as toilet rolls flew off the shelves earlier in the year, any hint that demand could outstretch supply will cause queues and an increase in fuel prices. If it happens in reality, working from home will again become the norm as commuting in your own vehicle comes at too great a cost. The government will prioritise fuel to the emergency services, the military and the agricultural sector, not the general public.

Which may come as a good thing as there will be no more car imports. You may have been saving up for the latest BMW or Audi or Volkswagen, your preference may be for a Peugeot, a Renault or a Mazda. Instead you will have to buy a car made in Britain: a Vauxhall Astra, a Nissan Qashqai or a Honda Civic. That is if all the parts are available in the UK and the machinery, computer parts or electronics are not also among the imports no longer arriving in the country.

 The common weekly shop will become a challenge, especially in the supermarkets which usually boast the greatest savings, selling produce from European countries. The shops which sell the most British produce will fare a little better, until supply no longer meets demand. At the height of the COVID 19 pandemic, fishermen who once sold their catch to restaurants or suppliers in Europe had to diversify rapidly in order to sell directly to the public. This will become commonplace, not just for fishermen but for farmers too. However, it will only work locally and they will not be able to supply the UK in its entirety. Allotments will see a surge in popularity and the COVID inspired gardeners will be forced to make their efforts a success. Dig for Britain posters will be back on the streets, a century after they were first used. City dwellers will have to queue in the fruit and vegetable aisles for fresh produce while the millennials learn to use a tin opener on canned vegetables.

GPs and doctors may even start prescribing vitamins. However, prescriptions will be another challenge as the list of medicines usually imported rapidly shrinks along with medical equipment. This will increase the strain on an already overburdened healthcare system. It will become common for pharmacies to refer patients back to their doctor when they run out of supply, recommending alternatives. Hospitals will have to share vital pieces of equipment and waiting-lists will continue to grow. There could be life-threatening consequences.

The government may start chartering flights to ensure vital imports and exports can continue.

The real issue will be in the winter. A significant percentage of gas arrives in the UK via LNG tankers, which then gets stored until required. Demand usually goes up during the colder months as we turn up our thermostats to heat our homes. This demand is also shared with the gas-fired power stations providing our electricity. A demand which will not be met if the gas ships are not operating.

Then there are the jobs which will be lost; not just the jobs in the ports and dockyards around the country… the truckdrivers who ferry the goods from the port to the distribution centres, the staff in the distribution centres, the suppliers without goods to sell… the technicians and engineers with no ships to work on or safety equipment to certify; the maritime schools; the marine insurance companies…

If such a scenario arose, the real solution would be British ships with British seafarers. Each country with its own ships and its own crews. Except world trade is just that: global. Economics is governed by trade, across borders. Countries are unable to meet the demands of their citizens solely with the produce of their own lands. Shipbuilding itself is an international feat.

In the UK, we would be rationing well before enough British ships, with enough British sailors, could sustain the current levels of shipping trade to and from Britain.

This is obviously all conjecture.

The truth of the matter is the significance shipping has on our daily lives. Shipping does not exist without seafarers. The health and well-being of seafarers, therefore, is something we should all have an interest in. We must take an interest in them.”

 

Editor's note:
Opinion pieces reflect the personal opinion of individual authors. They do not allow any conclusions to be drawn about a prevailing opinion in the respective editorial department. Opinions are usually deliberately formulated in a pronounced or even explicit tone and may contain biased arguments. They are intended to polarise and stimulate discussion. In this, they deliberately differ from factual articles you typically find on this platform, written to present facts and opinions in as balanced a manner as possible.
What's your opinion on this?
Be the first to comment...
Login or register to view comments and join the discussion!
Read more...

Opinion UK Marine Pilot’s Perspective of Seafarer’s Challenges.

by Ivana-Maria Carrioni-Burnett - published

Port of London Authority marine Pilot, Ms. Ivana Carrioni-Burnett, provides a personal opinion and insight into her recent experiences in UK waters as a newly qualified Pilot in relation to her interactions with seafarers away from their families, including during the COVID-19 crisis.

0

Opinion Crew Voices: Fearful, Frustrated, Fatigued, Forgotten.

by Ivana-Maria Carrioni-Burnett - published

These are the feelings which have been voiced by the crews I have been in contact with during pilotage operations these last few weeks.

We have heard this said about many keyworkers in the UK over the last couple of months. First it was the NHS, then care workers and social workers, then bus drivers, train operators, lorry drivers and the supermarkets.

0

Opinion Heroes or Hostages?

by Ivana-Maria Carrioni-Burnett - published

“Definitions": ‘Hero’: person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities OR person greatly admired for their exceptional qualities or achievements

‘Hostage’: person seized or held for the fulfilment of a condition OR person who is illegally held prisoner until certain demands are met by others

0

Article #dangerousladders - Using social media to improve pilot transfer safety.

by Kevin Vallance deep sea pilot and author - published

It remains a sad fact that accidents and near misses continue to occur during pilot transfers with frightening regularity. Most of these fortunately do not result in injury, and a surprisingly high number of them are not even recognised for what they are.

Surveys into pilot ladder safety consistently reveal that unacceptably high numbers of pilot transfer arrangements are not compliant with the regulations.

0

Video St Johns Bar Pilot Association

A collection of action from the St Johns Bar Pilot Association

In the early 1800′s as the commercial ports along the St Johns River began to develop, a select group of brave and skilled seafarers would row to sea to meet arriving cargo sailing ships. These daring individuals would use their extensive local knowledge to safely guide the sailing ships across the treacherous sand bars that guarded the river entrance. This was the origin of the St. Johns Bar Pilots. Initially it was a bit of a free-for-all as competition was keen among these pilots to be first to “call for the ship” and claim the right to pilot the ships in and out of port.

In 1890, an enterprising pilot, Captain George Spaulding, purchased a former America’s Cup contender, the schooner “META”. Understandably very fast, Captain Spaulding and the META were soon winning the majority of “Calls” for the St. Johns River. At the urging of the other pilots, Captain Spaulding sold shares in the META and created the St. Johns Bar Pilot Association in the fall of 1890. The META became the first official St. Johns Pilot Boat.

The daily assigned pilot would board META at dawn and take station outside the mouth of the river. After a day of working on the river, the pilots would return to the river mouth just before sunset. In 1931, a Richfield Oil Tanker was the first vessel to navigate the river at night, thereby ushering in a new era of commercial service for arrivals and departures.

The first real pilot station was a pair of wooden buildings built on a low spit of land that formed Ribault Bay. That land is now under the carrier piers at Naval Station Mayport, and Ribault Bay is now known as the Naval basin. The station was moved to its current location with the construction of the Navy base in the 1940s.

For more than 120 years, the traditions of safety and excellence in service have been passed from one Pilot to the next. All of the modern St. Johns Bar Pilots hold unlimited endorsements as First Class Pilot and have extensive leadership experience from their prior service at sea. Pilots are available at anytime, day or night, and often board and pilot vessels in the most frightening conditions of wind, seas, rain and fog. They are among the most intensely trained and experienced mariners in the world. The Pilot’s dedication to serve the marine transportation interests of the port of Jacksonville are in keeping with their mantra:

“providing pilotage for vessels utilizing the navigable waters of the St. Johns River in order that resources, the environment, life and property may be protected to the fullest extent possible”

0

Article A journey back in time: films of pilotage from 1940 to 1975 (USA, UK and Germany)

by Frank Diegel, CEO & Founder Marine-Pilots.com - published

Let us start a journey back in time. Back to the black and white films of history. The times have changed, but it is good to know what kind of things have changed and where are the roots of pilotage.

0

Video Ten less known facts about Kenya’s first female Marine Pilot, Elizabeth Marami

Elizabeth Marami, 28, has made history by becoming Kenya’s first female marine pilot. Born and bred in the coastal city Mombasa, Marami initially studied law at the University of Nairobi, but later changed course and went on to pursue navigation in Alexandria, Egypt for 5 years. “I always grew up knowing that I wanted to do something different, Something out of the ordinary. Being awarded a scholarship to pursue this career was God’s answered prayer…,” she says.

Her job as a marine pilot entails assisting vessels with coming into territorial waters because according to law, vessels entering a country’s territorial waters may not progress to the harbor without officials.

Elizabeth Marami is Kenya's first female marine pilot. She gave a speech during President Uhuru's commissioning of Bandari Maritime Academy.

1

Video Batangas Harbor Pilot on call - From home to work

Found on YouTube. Creted by Capt.Harold Janda.

From home to work.

0

Video Safehaven Marine 'Independent Vision' pilot boarding

Here’s a nice video of the ‘Independent Vision’ having her pilot embarked offshore by the Cork pilot boat ‘Failte’ an Interceptor 48 before she enters Cork Harbour. We also undertook some alongside handling trials at the same time with ‘San Cibrao’ before she is shipped to Spain. Sure was interesting trying to land the drone back on the boat in the 40kt winds offshore!

0

Video Whitten Road Haulage - Pilot Boat - Cork to A Coruna

Found on YouTube. Created by "Whitten Haulage".
Shown here is some footage of a pilot boat that was recently expertly delivered by our driver Declan to A Coruna from Cork. This load was 4.85m high, 24m long and 4.2m wide overall. It takes a great team coordinating from our office to organise the shipping, escorts and permits here in Ireland and Spain in order to make Declan's job a bit easier. It then takes the drivers expert hand to ensure that the load arrives safely and you can be sure in using Whitten Road Haulage that our years of expertise will see your load arrive safely and efficiently thanks to our Drivers such as Declan.

0