SOCP Releases US Mariner Crew Change Facilitation Guidance


Published May 5, 2020 8:11 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) announces the development and release of the US Mariner Crew Change Facilitation Guidance for COVID-19 (Revision 1.0). The SOCP Safety and Health Working Group, led by Captain Cole Cosgrove, Working Group Chair, spearheaded this effort at the request of industry to help operators manage crew changes as safely as possible. SOCP membership, association friends, industry partners, mariners, medical providers, regulatory and labor stakeholders have all contributed to this document either through direct contribution or practical experience. 

COVID-19 infections on commercial vessels have been infrequent thanks to the change efforts of the mariners and the cooperation of labor providers, terminal operators, industry oversight organizations, and vessel owners/operators. So far, the moratorium placed on commercial vessel crew reliefs has worked, but indefinitely keeping mariners on their vessels is not a sustainable solution for them or the industry. The objective of this document is to provide initial protocols that can be used uniformly across the US maritime industry to allow for the resumption of much-needed vessel crew changes. 

“The SOCP’s US Mariner Crew Change Facilitation Guidance for (COVID-19) seeks to maintain the health of our seafarers, and Maritime Transportation System. Cole has done an outstanding job leading this effort, and our members and friends responded immediately to help with this important document.” Tracey Mayhew, SOCP President

This is a work in progress. As data becomes more widely available, symptomatology, testing, treatment, and response to infection and protocols for keeping our sailors safe will change. Research and development continue to enhance our knowledge of COVID-19 and how it can impact our industry and our mariners, but it is paramount that as we learn, we update this document to keep our mariners safe and healthy. 

You can download the US Mariner Crew Change Facilitation Guidance for COVID-19 (Revision 1.0) document here: http://www.socp.us/images.html?file_id=u1Zv6r5%2FkeY%3D

The Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) is a non-profit organization of maritime industry professionals working together to improve the safety, productivity, efficiency, security, and environmental performance of U.S. vessel operations. SOCP collaborated with its members, which include U.S. ship owners and operators, maritime unions, academies, training institutions, government agencies, and others, to solicit recommendations on the content of the best practices for the U.S. Merchant Marine industry. SOCP has provided its maritime industry expertise and guidance in creating this document for the U.S. Merchant Marine. 

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