Day of the Seafarer – 25th June 2018

Another year has passed by and we’ve come to another celebration of the Day of the Seafarer. So what exactly is the Day of the Seafarer or DotS, as it is popularly referred to on social media campaigns? 

The purpose of the day is to give thanks to seafarers for their contribution to the world economy and civil society, and for the risks and personal costs they bear while on their jobs. It was observed for the first time in 2011 after being designated by the IMO in 2010.

Day of the seafarer 25 June 2018

While last year focussed on the theme ‘Seafarers Matter’, this year the campaign focus has been on the seafarers’ well being, particularly the mental health. The campaign has had 2 hashtags, namely #SupportSeafarersWellbeing and #GoodDayAtSea. These hashtags have been quite prominent on Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram where in addition to personal seafarer accounts, company accounts too have taken to posting pictures taken by their employees with the above mentioned hashtags.

Also, the IMO has stated their intentions to promote good initiatives and material developed by maritime stakeholders to ensure higher standards of welfare as well as to highlight what they are doing to improve conditions for seafarers regarding issues related to seafarers’ well-being, such as:

  • Shore leave
  • Abandonment
  • Mental health
  • Wages
  • No Criminalization
  • Repatriation
  • Resources available for Positive Mental Health
  • MLC convention
 While the efforts to celebrate the life of seafarers at sea is commendable, further concrete action towards streamlining and standardising the ever-burgeoning list of conventions and rule variations across the globe would serve to allow the seafarer to focus more on the job of running the vessel efficiently.
Well, we can only try. And writing to try and bring some attention to the plight of seafarers is a good way to make a start. But acknowledging the efforts of those who try to make a change is also important.
Here’s to wishing the seafaring brethren another safe year at sea!
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