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CMMI delves on safety in COVID-19 times and concerns of chartering during slowdown

CMMI, after its success in holding a webinar which dealt with Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation and about the effect of CIVD 19 on seafarers, organized the second seminar on April 24, 2020. The seminar continued to highlight about the problems arising from COVID-19 and also the pros and cons of chartering during the economic slowdown.

The second webinar was streamed not only on ZOOM but also on CMMI’s own Facebook page and You Tube which increased the total viewership resulting in participation of 800 members.   

The seminar dealt with two subjects viz. “Should we still hold the handrails  – safety in CoVid times” and “Chartering – concerns in potential economic slowdown”.  

Capt. Kaustubh Pradhan deputy Master welcomed the participants. Capt M.P. Bhasin, General Secretary of CMMI was the moderator of the webinar and Capt. Tescilin Almeida, Treasurer, CMMI, was the master of Ceremony.  

Capt. Birendra.K. Jha, the master of CMMI, inaugurating the seminar stated that CO Capt. B.K. Jha the master of CMMI stated that COVID 19 would change would change everyone’s lifestyle. Work from home was unheard of, he said “but everyone is working more than he was in, the office.” He added that every problem had an opportunity and this was an opportunity for the maritime industry to seek new avenues. He asked Capt Jay Kumar if it was feasible to start e-learning, basically revalidation of  STCW courses .  He disclosed that over the last two years there no appointment of nautical advisors. He believed that the post of NA, which is essential for the industry, had been scrapped. He was in favour of it being revived. 

A one minute silence was observed in memory of the deceased Capt. K. R. Sundaram, Nautical Surveyor     (Mercantile Marine Department, Mumbai). 

 Capt. K. P. Jayakumar, NA (I/c), congratulating CMMI for the initiative taken by the it of holding a  very successful webinar, highlighted the various issues facing the seafarers in these difficult times and informed about the steps being taken to address the issues. He informed that spread of Coronavirus was being closely observed by the industry. He stated that he personally monitored, on a daily basis, the welfare of the Indian ships plying in the region. He stated that it was heartening to note that Indian shipping companies were concerned about the safety of their crew and ships. They had taken the seafarers into confidence and were providing the required PPEs to their crew to help them safely operate in the difficult environment. As the pandemic spread, several advisories were issued.           

Dr. Nippin Anand, Founder of Novellas Solutions, U.K., and Expert in Human Factors and Safety Management Systems, speaking on “Should we still hold the handrails  – safety in COVID times”. He stated that times were changing. About a couple of months ago, children were instructed not to bring cell phones to school. Today, they are asked to bring the cell phones.

He started his speech with a quote from J.F Kennedy, “The greatest enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” He emphasized the need for looking at the existing rules and thinking out of the box to meet the challenges posed by the current situation and also prepare for the future challenges. He was of the opinion that the risk was not linear and predictable as one would like it to be. He said that our rules were based on the knowledge gathered from the past and we applied it to the present. While this may be good for the near future, it was not good for the distant future, he averred. He stressed that there was a need to learn afresh about the new realities and a need to stop imposing what we believe is right. There was a need to listen to the new ideas of the coming generation. He cited the example of a NASA scientist who believed that usually when you came up with one solution it gave rise to several new ones. 

He concluded by saying that the world, today, needs more expertise and not more rules.     

Capt. Santhakumar M, A Fellow of CMMI, Member of the Nautical Institute, A Member of Indian Meteorological Society and a Member of the Marine Technologists, speaking on “Chartering – concerns in potential economic slowdown” explained, with the help of slides,  about the intricacies of chartering. He also outlined the parameters and the challenges that laid ahead for a charterer. 

He highlighted effects of lay time on vessels and their owners and stated that delays during COVID-19 were new to the industry. 

There was an interesting question and answer session to end the seminar.  

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