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Celebrating seafarers worldwide on 25 June: International Day of the Seafarer

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LONDON : On International Seafarers’ Day, IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez pays tribute to the 2 million seafarers who keep global markets and supply chains running.

In a video message to seafarers, Mr Dominguez noted: “Seafarers have been severely tested in recent years, facing hostile acts of piracy or in conflict zones. I strongly acknowledge humility the resistance and sacrifice of seafarers in the name of work. 

Without seafarers there would be no maritime transport. And maritime transport is a lifeline for global trade.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, marked the day by saying: “Their (seafarers’) work is essential to ensure the continuous flow of essential goods that end up reaching markets, homes and our tables (…)”. However, these people have seen their own lives endangered as a result of serious threats. Let us together salute them for their essential work and support their safety.” (You can read the UN Secretary-General’s full statement here )

Attacks in the Red Sea

Attacks on international shipping can never be justified.

Since November 2023, innocent seafarers have been the target of continuous attacks on ships traveling through the Red Sea, stemming from geopolitical tensions. Too many attacks have been launched, damaging or sinking boats and causing at least four deaths and many injuries.

The IMO calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the Galaxy Leader and its crew who have been held for more than eight months.

IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez said: “On this Seafarers’ Day, let us remember those who have lost their lives simply doing their job, serving on these ships. Their dedication and sacrifice should not be overlooked. “Attacks on innocent people can never be justified, and I will continue to relentlessly advocate for the safety and well-being of seafarers.” 

(More information: Tribute to seafarers who have lost their lives in attacks in the Red Sea )

Join the campaign: share safety tips and experiences

To raise awareness about seafarer safety, the IMO has launched a social media campaign focusing on safety at sea.

Seafarers are invited to share photos and tips on safety at sea using the hashtag #SafetyTipsAtSea on Facebook ,  LinkedIn ,  X  or  Instagram .

Organizations, shipping companies and anyone in the maritime community, as well as the general public, are also invited to show their support for seafarers by joining the conversation with the hashtag.

Ms KC Abigail Chin-Sood, a seafarer from the Philippines, shared her advice for women in the sector: “Safety at sea involves not only meeting the highest occupational safety standards, but also, in the case of women, establish and maintain clear boundaries with male colleagues. Preserving dignity on board is crucial to ensuring personal safety. By maintaining professionalism and establishing boundaries, you can protect yourself from potential scandals and preserve your mental well-being, contributing to a more enjoyable experience. safe and positive way of working on the ship”.

Mr. Yrhen Bernard Sabanal Balinis, a seafarer from the Philippines, also shared his advice: “Communication is key on board ships. Whether it is anchoring, boarding or docking, officers need a deep understanding of the situation to make sure everything is running safely (…). But effective communication on board is not just limited to these practices: Does any crewmate feel depressed, homesick or anxious? Do they become agitated or constantly isolate themselves? ?Has their performance plummeted dramatically? Tactful and sensitive communication plays a decisive role in the psychological safety of seafarers.”

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