Jamaica News: Vessel operators in Jamaica’s maritime community sounded their horns at 12 noon on Friday (May 1), as a show of solidarity with seafarers who are currently at sea. The day is observed globally as International Labour Day, and the action is part of an international campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dedication of more than a million seafarers around the globe who are selflessly helping to maintain the world’s vital trade and aid routes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The chorus of horns from seagoing vessels of all sizes went off at midday local time to salute the 1.6 million seafarers who are at sea, many of whom have remained working on board for longer than usual, to assist with international efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. According to Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Rear Admiral (ret’d) Peter Brady, seafarers are the unsung heroes of global trade.
“Seafarers are fulfilling an important role in keeping the world stocked with vital medical supplies and food at this challenging time,” he said. “The Maritime Authority of Jamaica is happy to endorse this important gesture to signal to our seafarers everywhere how much their efforts are appreciated, so we encouraged all vessels to sound their horns and make some noise at 12 noon,” he added.
The gesture of solidarity was initiated by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which made the effort a worldwide initiative. Ships in ports around the world simultaneously sounded their horns in recognition of the men and women who have continued to give yeoman service in an uncertain time.
There are 1.6 million seafarers on board 65,000 ships across the world, according to the latest data from ICS and the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC), and approximately 150,000 of those seafarers are estimated to be at sea in need of crew change.
ICS also reports that the current difficulty with rotating ships’ crews poses a serious threat to the ability of vessels to deliver vital cargo at a time when countries need it most. The situation also poses challenges for the safety and mental well-being of seafarers.
Source: JIS News