MAJ salutes seafarers
Seafarers aboard ships docked in Jamaica's territorial waters were fÍted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) on Monday in observation of International Day of the Seafarer.
The day is celebrated on June 25 each year, with a special focus on the welfare of the men and women who risk their lives at sea in the transportation of goods and services used in the daily lives of the world's population.
MAJ Director General Rear Admiral Peter Brady gave some insight into the activities that are undertaken on the day.
"We use the occasion to visit seafarers on ships in Jamaica. We go and talk with them, interact with them, give them a little encouragement and a little token to show that we care. That goes a long way with a seafarer in a foreign country when we show that their welfare is important to us," he explained.
According to Brady, unlike shore-based occupations, seafaring is a demanding, stressful, and high-risk profession.
"It is associated with long-term separation from home and families, adverse weather conditions, piracy, long working hours, loneliness and fatigue, which can pose a high risk of stress," he said.
Brady referenced the 2018 theme, 'Seafarers' Well-being' and pointed out that it speaks to not only the physical aspects of a seafarer's life, but also the mental side.
He added that they are subject to the same kinds of external factors that make people's lives uncomfortable, but they do not have recourse to treatment and professional care as would a normal person ashore.
He said it was against this background that the theme was intended to bring the need to take better care of seafarers to ship owners.
International Day of the Seafarer came into being during the 2010 Diplomatic Conference in the Philippines, which amended the International Convention on Standards of Training and Certification of Seafarers.