The 2020 Day of the Seafarer, with the campaign themed ‘Seafarers are Key Workers’, pays tribute to seafarers and acknowledges their contributions as they play an essential role in maintaining the flow of vital goods, such as food, medicines and medical supplies during these unprecedented times.
“Seafarers have not only kept the global supply chain moving, but have been crucial in the fight against the ongoing pandemic, transporting daily necessities including medical supplies and protective equipment that help save lives stricken by the virus. Our hearts go out to all seafarers in these difficult times as the crew change continues to be a major global issue.” said SMOU General Secretary Ms Mary Liew.
On 25 June, SMOU partnered with the Maritime and Port of Authority Singapore (MPA), Singapore Organisation of Seamen and Singapore Shipping Association to distribute 1,000 care packs to ships in the Port of Singapore to appreciate the seafarers’ invaluable contribution to the world. Those present also witnessed the delivery of care packs to a PIL vessel, ‘Kota Nasrat’, via a drone. The shore-to-ship care pack was jointly placed on the drone by Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, Dr Lam Pin Min and Executive Chairman & Managing Director of PIL, Mr SS Teo.
During this trying time of COVID-19 pandemic, SMOU recognises the challenges seafarers face and has been working closely with its tripartite partners to facilitate crew change and improve the Singapore Crew Change Guidebook, wherever possible. Since 27 March, MPA has approved more than 13,000 cases of crew sign-ons and sign-offs involving some 650 companies and 1150 ships.
Seafarers are Key Workers as they are on the front line in this global fight. “They deserve our thanks, but they also need – and deserve – quick and decisive humanitarian action from governments everywhere, not just during the pandemic, but at all times” said International Maritime Organization Secretary-General Kitack Lim. Everyone is invited to recognise that the ability of seafarers to deliver vital goods is central to responding to, and eventually overcoming, this pandemic.