Accordingly, the protection of seafarers onboard is a priority for the shipping industry. Consequently, many key shipping stakeholders have launched guidelines requiring the use of safety materials onboard, such as PPE, sanitation gels and disinfectants.

Dealing with visitors is another challenging issue as many are those that board a vessel; the pilot, PSC authorities, surveyors, maintenance technicians and others.

Practical protective measures to be implemented onboard when in port:

#1 PPE

#2 Social distancing

#3 Hygiene

#4 Testing.

Steamship notes that prior to arriving in a port, the master has the responsibility to obtain the latest available information about COVID-19 from:

  • the company
  • local agents
  • relevant port authority.

All crew members should be fully aware of the precautionary measures onboard.

In addition, the company will inform whether it is safe for a crew member to go ashore at a particular port.

The first visitor onboard is normally the pilot; According to the management plan, at least one hour prior to the pilot arriving, all equipment on the bridge should be disinfected. 

The use of masks and gloves is mandatory.

The pilot should be escorted on the bridge, where sanitizing gel can be found or a hand washing facility.

Use a nod or a wave, instead of shaking hands.

Once the ship is securely moored, the gangway should be in place.

Steamship notes that:

  • The handrails must be disinfected.
  • Sanitizing and disinfected materials should be available for all.
  • All visitors must wear a face mask.
  • If required, visitors must complete a Visitor Health Declaration.
  • Crew members should wear mask, gloves, goggles.
  • Prior to using face mask, crew should clean hands.
  • Face mask should not be touched by hands.
  • Do not reuse face masks.

At the top of the gangway, one crew member should ask the visitors of their health condition, while also check their temperature.

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