Part of Maritime London COVID-19 webinar series
Posted on: 7 April 2020
Maritime London in partnership with Navigate PR hosted the second in the series of COVID-19 webinars on Monday, 6 April 2o2o. Entitled ‘The US Port Access, P&I Assistance and Crisis Communications’ the webinar featured three expert speakers taking a practical look at COVID-19 related issues facing ship managers and operators in US ports and around the world.
Sean Rock, Associate Managing Director of Washington-based risk management and emergency response Witt O’Brien’s – which recently acquired Navigate PR – provided a viewpoint on COVID-19 from North America, including updated guidance from the US Coast Guard and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The presentation also covered how Port State Control authorities in the US and Canada were interpreting the regulations and what quarantine measures were currently in place.
Ian Carter, Associate Director of fellow Maritime London member The London P&I Club, spoke on the impact COVID-19 is having on seafarers and how P&I clubs are assisting their members globally. Travel restrictions have “substantially curtailed crew changes,” he pointed out, meaning some crew members may have to spend as much as a year aboard a single vessel, which in turn raised various welfare issues, not least concerns for the health of family members back home. Ships with infection onboard, or even suspicion of the same, faced additional risks of delay when they did arrive in port, he added.
Dustin Eno, COO & Crisis Response Manager of Navigate Response, looked at media coverage of COVID-19 and how shipping companies should manage non-pandemic related incidents. In recent weeks some 58% of news coverage in English language media has been virus-related, he informed, meaning companies need to be careful of how they and their employees react in public – including on social media – to the pandemic. In due course attention will shift because of “media saturation,” he warned, and woe betide the company that becomes subject of what he called “the unlucky breakout story.”
Follow this link to access the webinar’s presentation.