The crew of Crown Ruby hopes that there will be no problems with rotation
According to estimates of the International Federation of Transport workers, based on the latest data from ships covered by the Collective agreements, currently around 300 thousand crewmembers are stuck in sea around the world, and the same number of seafarers can be considered unemployed, since they are not able to change their colleagues. One of those who were lucky enough to join the vessel just before the introduction of restrictions around the world is a member of the Seafarers Union of Russia, Chief Officer of the vessel Crown Ruby (flag of the Bahamas, shipowner OST-West-Handel) Sergey Starostin. He told about of everyday of the crewmembers during the period of the pandemic and widespread bans.
– We joined the vessel in St. Petersburg on February 21. That time there were no restrictive measures that are now introduced in ports. We made a voyage with a cargo of ammonium nitrate to Paramaribo, Suriname, and then went in ballast to Tauranga, New Zealand. There they took a cargo of kiwis bound to the Belgian Zeebrugge, from there again in ballast proceeded to Campana, Argentina, where took citrus fruits to Cartagena, Spain. The Ch. Officer noted that wherever the ship arrived, there is a mask-and-glove regime and no one was allowed to go ashore. According to him, the strictest rules they faced in New Zealand, where the crew was not even allowed in the hold during loading. Currently, Crown Ruby is proceeding from Ecuador to Saint Petersburg, calling at Helsingborg, Sweden, to unload some of the containers. The vessel is only a few days away from the Northern capital. It is planned to replace 19 Russians and two Ukrainians without replacement when the ship comes to the Kalundborg anchorage (Denmark). The crew hopes that there will be no problems with rotation. It remains to add that Sergey Starostin has been working on the vessels of the German company Ost-West-Hande for several years. He was employed there through the St. Petersburg’s crewing agency Afalina. He is happy with the working conditions, and this is not surprising as the vessel is covered by the collective agreement of the International transport workers ' Federation