Chennai Port has agreed to grant Indian seafarers shore leave, provided they adhere to basic protocols of undergoing dual vaccination and wearing masks.
The decision was taken after port authorities held a meeting, highlighting the plight of the sailors. Seafarers of foreign vessels, however, would not be granted shore leave.
This comes after the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) sought feedback from the port authorities regarding status of grant of shore leave to seafarers in their respective jurisdictions.
DGS said that despite India being a party to the Maritime Labour Convention, some ports were not granting shore leave to seafarers on some cases.
What is more, a port health official told local media that shore leave was granted to sailors provided they adhere to safety protocols. “The master and the ship owners have been asked to monitor those sailors, who have gone on shore leave for two weeks, to ensure they don’t catch any infection.”
Commenting on the importance of shore leave, Manoj Joy, Community Development Manager, Sailors Society, added:
As the seafarers’ right to shore leaves is legally recognised, we are hopeful that the ports, too, will take a positive step in this regard
Recently, AMSA drew attention to the importance of providing shore leave to seafarers, for ships visiting Australian ports.
It stressed that companies are responsible for crew health, safety, and wellbeing, while shore leave and access to shore-based welfare facilities is key to seafarer physical and mental health recovery and reduces risks of fatigue.
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