The IMO 2021 Day of the Seafarer campaign extends its encouragement for governments to support seafarers amid the pandemic, and calls for a fair future for seafarers. We at RABN fully support this, as the pandemic has been extremely strenuous for our crews everywhere. As we’re progressing toward the new normal, we offer our thanks to our crew members for their devotion and actions during these uncertain times.
Nothing is normal
The pandemic has affected every aspect of our business. From crew changes to scheduled dockings, there’s a serious risk involved. At RABN we’ve had one thing in mind, the safety and stability of our crews’ daily lives. Through the pandemic we’ve maintained our crew change cycles, making sure that crew members get the rest they need. Captains and officers have risen to the challenge, and taken on responsibilities to ensure that external exposure is kept to a minimum. The service RABN provides to its customers is our crews and their expertise, which effectively means that the pandemic has created an entirely new risk factor for our core business.
Everything and anything outside the ship is affected. Anything from spare part deliveries to dry-dock capacity have become an uncertainty. But by far, individuals have been affected the most. Not only the disruption to normal life, but also the stress and uncertainty – which are some of the heaviest burdens to bear.
“The fear for the health of oneself and others was ever-present. A lot of stress was caused by the thought of accidentally bringing Covid onboard and unwillingly infecting others without realizing, no matter how responsibly you behaved even off-duty.”
Impact, support and community
Seafarers have faced the pandemic head-on. As freight shipments need to carry on no matter the situation, crews and ships have been exposed on a whole new level. RABN has taken precautionary measures, barring external people from visiting the ships to ensure the safety of crews. Cleaning and disinfection procedures have been rigorously enforced, as they have been on the mainland. As some external contact is unavoidable, isolation and protective measures have been key for e.g. pilots and authorities.
Crew members have been very dedicated to maintaining a close-to-normal working environment, and have endured continuous COVID19 testing. As vaccinations have started, the situation has been improving day by day. The Finnish Shipowners’ Association has had an important role in clearly communicating the ever-changing situation, guidelines and restrictions. Dealing with the pandemic has been a team effort, and it shows that even the toughest situations can be overcome – both as individuals and as a group.
We are proud of our seafarers, without their commitment the situation would be entirely different.
Today at 12 noon local time, our ships at port will sound the horn to commemorate the Day of the Seafarer.
// Antti & Johan