Pretoria: 25 June 2016
Thousands of South Africa’s online (and off line!) community are expected to join the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) on Saturday as South Africa celebrates its more than 11 000 seafarers in observation of the International Day of Seafarers.
In terms of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), focus of this year’s celebration is on drawing and heightening the international community’s awareness and recognition of the critical role played by sailors in domestic and global ocean transport for social, commercial and numerous other purposes.
As such, the campaign’s theme this year is: “At Sea For All” and SAMSA will activate the local version of the global effort in community engagement at the Durban Yacht Club – the venue of this year’s national boat show – at about noon today.
According to SAMSA, the Day of the Seafarer was first celebrated in 2011 following its establishment by a resolution adopted by the Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, held in Manila, Philippines, in June 2010, which adopted major revisions to the STCW Convention and Code.
The Day of the Seafarer had since been included in the annual list of United Nations Observances.
SAMSA said observation of the day provided an opportunity for the public in general to pay tribute to the world’s 1.5 million seafarers “for the unique and all-too-often overlooked contribution to the well-being of the general public.”
“At the coal face of driving economies around the world and at the forefront supporting international trade the seafarers, whether deck hands, captains of ships, engineers and cadets, galley staff play a very significant role in ensuring the world’s economic growth and sustainability,” said SAMSA acting Chief Executive Officer, Sobantu Tilayi.
Therefore, he said; seafarers were the face of the maritime industry and continuously worked hard to strive for excellence.
“Seafarers are those brave hearts who risk their lives, give up months of family time and being on land, to go out to sea, to not only support and protect our beloved country and their nations, but also to create an impact on each and every citizen by ensuring international trade, which affects us all. They make sure that the environment is protected, trade is flowing and our communities are able to thrive and develop themselves. It is therefore essential to raise our hands in salutation to these fearless men and women,” said Mr Tilayi.
Mr Tilayi encouraged the country to get together and acknowledge these unsung heroes. He said as a celebration to the seafarers and their challenging and demanding job, SAMSA continuously aimed to support and provide jobs in the maritime industry both for men and women.
“Our involvement in the Operations Phakisa Oceans Economy Initiative places us at the forefront of ensuring that South Africa produces seafarers of international standards. SAMSA would like to combine this industry where an abundance of jobs are available to combat the country’s current plight of high unemployment,” said Mr Tilayi.
In an appearance on the SABC News Breakfast Show ‘Weekend Live’ early on Saturday morning, Mr Tilayi further elaborated on the event. To listen, Click Here
Day of the Seafarer 2016
Meanwhile the schedule for the day is as follows:
Venue: Durban Yacht Club.
13h00: Army Band to start playing music at the SAMSA activation area.
13h15: Program director to announce the purpose of the gathering and a few remarks.
13h20-13h30: Army Band to continue playing upbeat music to get the crowd hyped up.
13h30: Program director reads the message of support from the Secretary General of the IMO on the international Day of the Seafarer.
13h35: SAMSA CEO addresses the crowds on the International Day of the Seafarer.
13h45: Program director vote of thanks and introduces the Army band playing the National Anthem.
13h50: Army Band continues playing and the program ends.