Today, June the 25th, Maritime World celebrates the Day of the Seafarer. This day was instituted by the IMO on 2010 to remember the importance of seafarers and to raise awareness about life at sea.
This year IMO’s campaign praises Seafarer’s wellbeing, aiming to the promotion of initiatives and useful material developed by various maritime stakeholders to apply higher quality standards and to highlight actions to improve conditions for seafarers on matters related to their well-being such as: Shore leave, Abandonment, Mental health, Wages, No criminalization, Repatriation, Resources available to Positive Mental Health and MLC convention.
We should bring to notice that global industry is vital to the world and people and equally important is the work of seafarers who perform one of the most difficult jobs in the world, running huge ships through dangerous seas and intimidating areas. Knowing well a seafarer’s life due to my personal experience as a Captain, I am often concerned with the fact that seafarers are one of these neglected professionals who are often overlooked not only by international organizations but also by their countries. For those who are not aware, if you try to get in their position and experience their hard way of living and the difficulties that they endure at sea you would soon realize that people who serve at sea learn how little a person needs, not how much. They are probably, one of the very few people in the world, who understand the true value of family, friends and life itself.
If it was not for them, world trade would be in a permanent stagnation, people would be deprived of basic needs and some nations would find it extremely difficult to survive. On this ground, shipping industry is considered the lifeline on which the world economy has developed and survived. Seafarers, on the other hand are crucial to a ship and its operations, and should therefore be well looked after. Seafarers need good welfare packages and continuous training. They need appreciation for their contribution, hard work and sacrifices. They are heroes and should be treated like one. They are entitled to our utmost respect and therefore the Day of the Seafarer should be a worldwide call of people everywhere to recognize them as those who, with quiet dedication, keep the wheels of the world in motion.