Frank Coles launches campaign to create global green travel channel travel for seafarers

Shipping veteran Frank Coles has launched an online petition to create an enforceable global protocol for so called green channel travel for seafarers.

Florida-based Coles, whose career has seen him work at Wallem, Inmarsat, Transas and Pacific Basin, is pushing to create greater public awareness and thereby force politicians to act to ensure the repatriation of mariners goes ahead as well as providing suitable health care in ports during the ongoing pandemic.

“Normally at sea for around eight months at a time many [seafarers] have been forced to spend 16 or more months at sea during Covid. Countries have closed their borders, flights stopped and extremely taxing rules put in place for any travel. This has placed an extraordinary strain on mental welfare of the mariners. It has also put the safety of ships at risk,” reads the petition launched via the site change.org.

Thus far, less than one third of the world’s nations have agreed to earmark seafarers as key workers. A summit convened by the UK a year ago to try and enact global crew change solutions failed to deliver and as of today there are still more than 200,000 crew working beyond their stipulated contract times.

Writing for Splash earlier this month, Coles, who currently finds himself between jobs, suggested a global two-week strike might be the only way for the seafaring workforce to effect change to their current conditions.

To look at the online petition, click here.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. I have signed the petition immediately after I have read the article. Ofcourse! And thank you Splash 24/7 to make the petition public.

    Any effort to help seafarers to have their vital role in the world economy recognised must be supported and can only be applauded to.

    It is absolutely appaling that a majority of countries with a functioning sea port are closing their border, disabling seafarers to travel, whilst taking the benefit of world trade.

    It is a miracle – and we have to also thank the seafarer for this – that world trade has not collapsed over the exhausted crews on board of ships. Much to the contrary, world trade is booming soon to be exceeding the years 2003-2008.

    So, dear world leaders, recognize the role of Seafarers, and give them the freedom to travel.

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