June 24, 2024

Day of The Seafarer 2024 - A Call to Action to Ensure Safety at Sea

This year, on the Day of the Seafarer, we recognise and celebrate the vital contributions of seafarers worldwide.

Organised by the International Maritime Organization, this annual event highlights the indispensable role seafarers play in our daily lives. Yet, despite their significance, their contributions often go unnoticed, both within the maritime industry and among the general public. Seafarers are the backbone of global trade, ensuring the seamless transportation of goods and fuels essential to our daily routines. This year's campaign focuses on safety tips at sea, underlining the imperative for seafarers to grasp their pivotal role in cultivating a safer maritime environment.

At The Seafarers’ Charity, safety is paramount.

Championing Safety for Fishing Communities Worldwide

We're dedicated to ensuring seafarers return home safely from their fishing expeditions. Of the almost 40m people who earn their living from working at sea, 1.89m are seafarers and there are an estimated 38m fishers globally. Fishing is one of the most perilous professions globally, with estimates suggesting 25,000 to 100,000 fatalities annually. In response, we've funded a range of initiatives and organisations, and established the International Fund for Fishing Safety, in partnership with Lloyd’s Register Foundation and FISH Platform, to enhance #FishingSafety globally. From comprehensive training programs to support behavioural and cultural change and the establishment of safety management systems and their audit, we're committed to improving safety for everyone who works at sea.

Safety knows no gender

Despite seafaring being a male-dominated profession, with only 2% of the global seafarers' workforce being female according to IMO statistics, at The Seafarers’ Charity, we firmly believe in prioritising the welfare and support needs of #WomenWorkingAtSea. Their safety and well-being are equally crucial, which is why we proudly fund initiatives tailored to support them.

Promoting financial safety is equally crucial for the well-being of seafarers and their families

In May 2022, The Seafarers’ Charity, in partnership with the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, launched the Safety Net for all UK merchant seafarers to offer free money management tools and resources specifically to help UK merchant seafarers manage their money during the current cost of living crisis and in the future. The Safety Net is a vital one-stop-shop providing bespoke information and support for all UK seafarers and their families on personal savings, money management, credit choices, debt advice, and relationship and mental health support. This website is an extension of the Safety Net for fishing families, which The Seafarers’ Charity launched in September 2021.

Securing Safer Seas: CHIRP Strengthens Safety Reporting

CHIRP Maritime (Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme) has been providing a critical safety platform for seafarers worldwide since 2003. Their independent and confidential system allows seafarers to report incidents, accidents, and near misses at sea. This crucial data is then analyzed and published online, as well as in their "Maritime FEEDBACK" paper, available in multiple languages. Our continued support for CHIRP Maritime helps ensure this vital information reaches the widest possible audience within the diverse maritime community. By sharing these insights, CHIRP raises awareness of potential safety hazards and fosters improvements across the industry. Furthermore, CHIRP's expertise extends beyond traditional shipping, offering specialized reports catering to the specific needs of fishing and superyacht operations.

Lifeline at Sea: Sailors' Society Bolsters Crisis Response Network

The Seafarers' Charity is proud to support the Sailors' Society's Crisis Response Network (CRN). This vital service provides 24/7 support to seafarers, families, and shipping companies facing maritime emergencies like piracy, accidents, and natural disasters. Operating for over five years, the CRN offers crucial assistance through case management, communication support, 24/7 helplines, and mental health resources. They also actively track incidents and work to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health at sea. Read one of our latest case studies here.

Sea Views Podcast dedicated to improving maritime safety

During Maritime Safety Week 2023, The Seafarers' Charity and The CHIRP Charitable Trust launched Sea Views, a podcast series featuring interviews with industry experts on pressing safety issues. Hosted by safety advocate Julia Gosling and CHIRP Director Adam Parnell, Sea Views fosters dialogue within the international maritime community, covering topics from container ships to fishing vessels.

Our latest episode coming out this week is looking at Bridge Safety and what new technology is already changing here. Listen to Sea Views, and you’ll hear from special guests working in a diverse range of workplaces from fishing to cargo shipping and ferries to cruise liners but all with the aim of improving safety for seafarers. All episodes available here.

Fathom 20: A collection of stories on safety at sea

Fathom, the podcast exploring the UK fishing industry, is produced by the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation and funded by The Seafarers' Charity. This special episode, originally launched in 2020 to celebrate #MaritimeSafetyWeek, #SeafarersWeek, and the #HomeandDry safety campaign, shares the insights from five industry professionals on what safety means and how it should be discussed. These interviews are compiled into a single episode, offering a rich tapestry of emotion, experience, and expertise from the quayside. The #HomeandDry campaign, based on extensive research with fishermen, highlights safety through themes of home, community, family, and love, rather than fear and danger.

Get involved in this year's campaign by sharing some safety tips and, if you can, consider making a donation to help us fund organisations and initiatives aimed at achieving #SaferWorkingLivesAtSea.

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