Ebola guidance issued

Global seafarers and owners’ organisations have urged crews to take precautions against the possible spread of the deadly Ebola virus on ships visiting West Africa.

Masters of vessels calling at countries affected by the virus should instruct crews about its risks, symptoms and ways of contagion, said in a joint, urgent statement the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

When in affected ports, masters should grant shore leave only after “careful consideration” and avoid making crew changes there, according to the statement.

“We want to make sure that those in the world shipping industry play our part in ensuring the safety of crews visiting the affected countries, and minimizing the risk of the virus spreading further,” it said.

Marine insurers already urged clients last week to make sure their crews take every protection and are made fully aware of the risks they face in West Africa.