West’s Waypoints 2 deep dives topic of seafarer wellbeing

West of England Club’s second issue of Waypoints, just released, covers a range of issues, focusing heavily on the wellbeing of seafarers.

Topics covered include one on how amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention seek to protect seafarers abandoned by their employers (“MLC and abandoned seafarers, the theory and the practice”), plus “A Culture of Compassion”, looking at the crew welfare policies at West Member Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

Also in the issue is an interesting piece from Dirk Siebels, Senior Analyst at Denmark-based security intelligence company Risk Intelligence, who wrote on the issue of the Gulf of Guinea. One point well made was the instance of an attack against an anchored tanker a few months ago. Several crew members were kidnapped when the ship was boarded by armed men in the middle of the night. Siebels observed that, while it was very likely that the vessel was randomly selected, “it should be noted that similar vessels at the same anchorage were fitted with razor wire and other protection measures, making it much harder to board them without being detected”.

Siebels said that the outward demonstration of preparedness was a key element of security – deterring would-be attackers from even trying to board.

“While these measures can take time out of an already busy crew schedule, it is critical that they understand why they are doing it and therefore that it needs to be done to a high standard rather than just a token effort”, wrote Siebels.