As Brave Tern set sail for Taiwan in April 2020, borders and ports around the world had closed for COVID-19. And crew changes had suddenly become a lot more difficult. But our marine crew were determined to go and had agreed to stay on board all the way to Taiwan if they had to.
" ... when there were no flights available, it was crushing."
Changing crews en route
The six ports we originally had planned for crew changes had closed. But we were able to do a crew change for our European marine crew on the French island of Réunion, off the east coast of Africa. “We started working on a crew change for the Filipino crew in Singapore, and we were even able to secure approvals,” explains Crewing Manager Corinne Hobson. “But then when there were no flights available, it was crushing.”
Our Filipino crew stayed on until Taiwan. However, with the Taiwanese embassy in Manila closed, we were not able to process crew to replace them. The first crew landed on September 10th – and it was finally time to get our Filipino marine crew safely home, for the first time since February!
Operating safely and effectively in Taiwan
In Taiwan, Brave Tern was the first vessel to go through a low-risk sanitisation process in order to make the vessel lower risk and to further ease crew changes. This means marine crews need to quarantine for 14 days before they come on board, but not when they leave. We have also built out a third shift of crew to help keep a work/life balance and allow time for quarantine.
On board, crew members maintain WHO recommended social distancing in all common areas, working spaces and during mealtimes. We also follow the recommended measures for heightened hygiene and temperature controls.
We are deeply grateful to our marine crew for working with us so openly, being so flexible, and showing such goodwill – on Brave Tern and on all our vessels. It’s thanks to you that we have kept projects and crew changes on track, and crews and families safe.
Read more about how we have handled the COVID-19 challenges on our vessels.