As of 1st July 2021, Ardmore Shipping has vaccinated over 40% of onboard crew, with plans to deliver vaccines to the remaining onboard staff by the end of the year. Recognising the essential need to protect crew, Ardmore has been busy building momentum in providing welfare support around the world for seafarers.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact the lives of seafarers. These key workers find themselves at the mercy of ever-changing travel restrictions and uncertainty spurred by new variants. Many are experiencing months of isolation from their families, unable to leave their ships due to their locations, nationalities or vaccination status, among other factors.
In May 2021, Ardmore Shipping, alongside a variety of shipowners, welfare organisations and charities, launched the Seafarers International Relief Fund (SIRF), in aid of seafarers and their families devastated by the COVID-19 crisis in India and other countries. Since then, the fund has raised almost $1 million USD. The fund has provided grants to charities such as Stella Maris, Sailor’s Society and The Mission to Seafarers to provide oxygenators, food parcels and post-COVID-19 care including counselling and therapy.
Following the inception of this initiative, Ardmore has taken additional steps to fight the pandemic, initiating a comprehensive internal vaccination programme, with over 40% of sea staff now vaccinated.
On the 23rd of May 2021, crew onboard the Ardmore Seavaliant received their first doses. To date, Ardmore has fully vaccinated crew onboard the Ardmore Explorer, Ardmore Seahawk, Ardmore Sealeader and Ardmore Sealion, with plans to have all sea staff vaccinated by the end of the year.
Mark Cameron, Ardmore’s Chief Operating Officer, commented: “We can see first-hand how seafarers are being impacted by COVID-19. This vaccination programme is essential to move forward and we are working in partnership with Anglo Eastern and Thome Ship Management to accelerate this programme across our fleet as quickly as possible. We believe it will make a huge difference. With vaccines unavailable in so many countries across the globe, it is our responsibility to protect our staff by providing access to vaccines as soon as possible.
“We hope that through this decision, we can inspire other companies – in shipping and beyond – to step up and do what they can to assist their teams. We understand that vaccinating staff may not be feasible for all companies, but the fact remains that tangible action, and collaboration, is required to effectively forge a path out of this situation.”
To contribute to the Seafarers International Relief Fund, please visit https://donate.theseafarerscharity.org/sirf.