Participants at the 3rd Annual Tristar Safety at Sea Conference held on December 8 were asked to work collectively as a team to continue to lobby, at all levels, for the welfare of all seafarers. This was the message of Tristar Group CEO, Eugene Mayne when he opened the event at the Indian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Tristar is a signatory to the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change. Signed by more than 850 companies and organisations, the declaration recognises the shared responsibility of stakeholders to prioritise health and well-being of seafarers and ensure a resilient supply chain.
Mayne mentioned, too: “Global shipping depends on more than one million seafarers and, therefore, we must continue to lobby with governments and other stakeholders for a broader recognition of seafarers as key workers to enable them overcome issues of travel bans, embarkation and disembarkation restrictions or suspension of travel documents all of which have severely strained working conditions in the global shipping sector.”
The hybrid event was attended by leaders of the maritime industry, seafarers both ashore and on board, including members of various bodies such as Nautical Institute, Institute of Marine Engineers, Institute of Marine Surveyors, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, and IACS Class Societies and Flag Authorities.
The event had more than 1,600 views on YouTube when it was being live streamed. In addition, around 20 crew members of each Tristar Fleet vessel watched the event.
The main speakers were Cerian Mellor, Seafarer Wellbeing Programme Coordinator at Shell; Andy Bowerman, Regional Director for Middle East & South Asia at The Mission to Seafarers; Manit Chander, HiLo Maritime Risk Management CEO; Joy Basu, SmartShip CEO; and Sanjay Verma, Decarbonization Solutions at Wartsila. They also participated in a panel discussion after their respective presentations.
The Neptune Declaration was discussed and most of the panelists agreed that not much had been done to actually achieve its objectives. A question from the audience was raised on how the conference would ensure action would be achieved. Then Chris Kirton, V.Group Managing Director of International Tanker Management (ITM), who was one of the panelists in the first session, volunteered: “I make a commitment on behalf of V. Group to take this forward with the Neptune Declaration, I am happy to do this.”