New measures to help seafarers in South Tyneside
New measures have been agreed to ensure the welfare of former seafarers and those visiting North East ports.
The formal agreement between the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) sets out ways both will work together to coordinate their approach to the provision support.
The Memorandum of Understanding formally designates the MNWB as the UK’s National Seafarers’ Welfare Board.
The MNWB is the umbrella charity for the UK Merchant Navy & Fishing Fleets, with 45 member organisations providing welfare support to serving and retired UK seafarers, and their families.
Robert Courts, Maritime Minister, said: “The MCA and the Merchant Navy Welfare Board have been doing a fantastic job of supporting seafarers during the pandemic.
"Signing a formal agreement reinforces our commitment to put welfare at the heart of the maritime industry both domestically and internationally, giving seafarers that extra assurance as we rebuild the sector and look to the future.”
Steven Clapperton, of the Port of Tyne and chair of Tyne MNWB Port Welfare Committee, said: “These have been extremely difficult times for seafarers and fishers, who have carried on working throughout the pandemic with issues around repatriation, finances, family welfare and mental health not uncommon.
"Our welfare committee has continued to meet regularly to review, support and help improve the welfare of seafarers’ and fishers throughout the crisis.”
Julie Carlton, head of seafarer safety and health at the MCA’s UK Maritime Services, said: “This is an important step in ensuring we continue to work closely together to ensure seafarers’ and fishers’ welfare continues to be supported in our ports and through other services.”