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International Community lauds Day of the Seafarer

25 June 2013 –

Durban, South Africa, June 25, 2013 – The International community today joined the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) to celebrate International Day of the Seafarer, honouring, acknowledging and giving heartfelt felt thanks to more than 1.5 million seafarers worldwide. This year’s campaign theme, Faces of the Sea, aims to highlight the individuals that are often unseen, but who work to deliver more than 90% of the world’s goods.

The Day of the Seafarer was first celebrated in 2011, following its establishment by a resolution adopted by the Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, held in Manila, Philippines, in June 2010, which adopted major revisions to the STCW Convention and Code. The Day of the Seafarer has now been included in the annual list of United Nations Observances.

World famous British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes with his co-leader Anton Bowring today paid tribute to SAMSA. SAMSA’s Dedicated Training Vessel, Agulhas partnered with the Coldest Journey to transport their exploration team to the Antarctica in January this year to traverse the continent.

“The International Day of the Seafarer is an important annual recognition and celebration of your (SAMSA) work. Having sailed with you to Antarctic and beyond, we raise a glass to you in gratitude for your exceptional support to our expedition and to the inspired work being undertaken by SAMSA in giving young people careers at sea,” said Fiennes and Bowring in a statement.

Seafarers are recognised as a critical asset for shipping companies as they are the embodiment of their business; operating on the front line of the shipping industry; and making sacrifices and contribute towards efforts to keep the economy moving, often in lonely conditions.

SAMSA continues to play a positive and active role with seafarers, working closely with the South African Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA); seeking training berths from reputable shipping companies/managers for the purpose of training South African cadets as part of an initiative funded by the SA government to grow the country’s maritime capabilities and address the country’s high unemployment.

SAMSA is taking steps to address South Africa’s maritime industry which is heavily understaffed, with less than 10% of the 45 000 necessary positions filled. With growth and development, the maritime industry has the potential to employ over 160 000 people, making it potentially one of the biggest areas for growth and employment in the country.

SAMSA recently hosted a Careers Expo and Job summit in Durban, for the youth to gather information on careers in the industry. It brought together the unemployed, graduates and scholars to educate and inform them about the maritime industry.

Issued on behalf of SAMSA by FBI Communications and Blue Leaf Communications

Media queries:
Samukele Ngubane (sam@blueleafcomms.co.za), cell +27785560965
Shoaib Wahed (shoaib.wahed@fbicommunications.com), 031-2085525/cell +27735258723

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