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Nautical Institute hails Cochin Port’s efforts in crew-change operations

The Nautical Institute (London) India SW Branch has awarded a certificate of appreciation to M Beena, Chairperson, Cochin Port Trust, for the tremendous efforts made by the port in carrying out crew-change of Indian seafarers in Kochi.

The certificate was presented by Capt Tom Joseph (President) and Capt Vinod Naveen (Secretary) of the Nautical Institute. Capt JJ Alapat, Deputy Conservator, Cochin Port Trust, was present.

Beena said that the crew-change during the Covid-19 scenario was possible thanks to the cooperation of all the concerned agencies, such as the Customs, Bureau of Immigration, Port Health Organisation, District administration and health authorities and Steamer Agents by implementing the guidelines laid down by the DG Shipping and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

She said that the response by the shipping industry to choose to call on Cochin Port is a sign of the confidence reposed in the port’s capabilities. Among the many ships that called at Kochi anchorage for crew-change, were three of the largest ships in the world with container carrying capacities of over 20,000 TEUs.

The ability of the port to carry out crew-changes of over 5,000 seafarers from almost 300 ships since the lockdown in March without any incident till date, despite the onset of the monsoons, is a credit to all stakeholders, including the tug operators who are carrying out these operations in these difficult conditions.

The port is committed to the welfare of Indian seafarers during the current pandemic and to offer its services to the global shipping industry in these difficult times, she added.

Sources in the shipping sector pointed out that Kochi can be developed into a hub for ancillary services for ships considering its locational advantage vis-a-vis the international shipping lanes. Kochi, located at the South-West end of the Indian Peninsula and almost in the middle of the Indian Ocean, sees a good portion of the world’s shipping pass within a hundred miles of the port eastbound and westbound across the Indian Ocean.

Singapore, which has a similar shipping lane, has used the potential of its advantageous location to the fullest to develop itself as the major global port, despite being such a small country, the sources added.
Source: The Hindu Business Line

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