As a result, there are currently 200,000 workers who remain stranded on ships and another 200,000 at shore, waiting to sign in.

"Without crew to replace seafarers onboard ships many may be unable to sail," the ICS warned, criticizing many national governments that they "have dragged their heels", delaying implementation of the IMO 12-step crew change roadmap.

These remarks come ahead of a critical summit meeting by the UK Government to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on crew changes.

The solutions do not need money or complicated negotiations. Governments must now implement these protocols. If bureaucracy continues to get in the way, what has already become a humanitarian crisis at sea, and what is fast becoming an economic one, will lead to severe consequences for an already overstretched global economy. The time for political leadership is now,

...said Guy Platten, Secretary General of the ICS, during an IMO webinar on Friday.

Also, reflecting on the Heroes at Sea Shoutout campaign that took place on 1st May, Mr. Platten added:

From today, we are encouraging ships across the world to replicate the Heroes at Sea Shoutout and sound their horns at 12 noon local time to ensure that governments cannot say they have not heard the calls to solve the crew change crisis...The fact we are over 3 months down the line, and we have 400,000 seafarers in need of crew change is completely unsustainable. We cannot take these heroes of global trade for granted anymore.