By Olav Nortun, Chief Executive Officer
Dear Maritime Colleagues,
We have all been experiencing unprecedented changes to the way we live and work, and in this issue of Thome Group News we discover how our various departments have met the challenges presented by the COVID-19 global restrictions.
Like many companies, our departments have turned to digital solutions to circumvent the virus and I would like to thank our IT colleagues for the way in which they have provided the equipment and software that has kept us all working in our onboard or at home locations.
There are many articles in this issue which highlight how we have used digital technology to our advantage and I would particularly like to highlight an interesting article by Capt. Mukesh Kumar Singh. In it he outlines how the marine and technical team has dealt with the inevitable delays in dry docking schedules working with Class and Flags to agree extensions where possible or supervising work online in areas where dry dock slots are available.
The most troubling aspect of the impositions imposed by the various global lockdowns has been the complete inability to organise crew changes which has affected all ship managers and owners.
The article by Rajesh Divakaran describes how we have managed the challenges of crew repatriations which were impossible to implement during the height of the crisis. The key issue has been governments around the world not recognizing seafarers as key workers but I am pleased to say that restrictions are now being eased so that our ship staff, especially those who have had to work beyond their contract expiry dates, are now thankfully beginning repatriated.
I would like to share Rajesh’s sincere thanks to all our seafarers who have been very understanding during this time despite the frustrations of being away from their families for longer than normal.
Finally, as we enter the post-COVID-19 period let us take the positive aspects of what we have learnt in working around the restrictions and use these to enhance the services we can offer our clients and principals.