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Why You Should be Grateful of Seafarers

Oct 10, 2014

Seafarers are very important part of the success of our global economy.   Seafarers are vital to the maritime industry and to every other industry, from the power generation to manufacturing, to technology, up to the spices in mother's cupboard and the latest shoes you just bought last week.  Without seafarers, most people's lives will be deprived of their necessities and other countries would find it hard to survive.  This is because seafarers shipped products from port to port, in any part of the world.   But only few people really knows what is happening on the ships and its seafarers when they're at seas.  And sadly, these few people are the seafarers itself.


And so, why should we be grateful of our dear seafarers from all parts of the world? It's because:


1. Seafarers keep the wheel of world trade turning.  As we've said, seafarers are crucial for the global economy to flourish.  Seafarers handle that 90% of the global trade at sea, transporting it from this point to that point in the other side of the world. If not for seafarers, you would not be able to experience the fun an Xbox brings, savor the delightful taste of chocolates, talk to your loved-one abroad in your laptop or computer, and wear that thick clothes suitable for this stormy weather.


2. Seafarers must survived the strongest seas and worst weather conditions they may encounter.  In oceans like the Pacific, waves may reach up to hundred feet.  Seafarers have to bravely face such huge waves and unforgiving storms. Even though a ship may be equipped with all the advanced technological gadgets, every seafarer is still not safe when nature decides to whack them. Despite news of ships wrecked and sank, seafarers have no choice but to fulfill their duty.  Every seafarers must be tough in every aspect to complete their mission of reaching their next destination.


3. Seafarers set aside their health for their responsibilities at sea. Have you ever been on any ship? Then you may just have an idea what it's like to live and work on a ship for a year or more. Seafarers are very susceptible to different diseases and illnesses because of the nature of their work and the continuous travel to different places of the world.  Seafarers will always be exposed to physical injuries at their work.  They will also be prone to diseases that will possibly spread within the seafarers.  And seafarers will also be likely to have homesickness and fatigue, which is always part of their life at sea.  All this health hazards, is what at risk for a seafarers life.


4. Seafarers work overtime.  People may think that seafarers are lucky because they are able to go through many places around the world.  They're wrong.  Yes it may be true that they reach different destinations, but they don't always get the privilege of strolling down the park.  Seafarers don't always get to enjoy the environment of the places they anchored, because they work overtime when at port. Some seafarers are not allowed to leave their ship when they dock because of threats from terrorists.  For seafarers, port only means additional tons of work to be done rightaway before they undock again.


5. Seafarers basic rights are unrecognized at work.  Every person working on land is entitled to their basic rights.  But seafarers don't, despite the fact that they still continue to work in unfortunate conditions.  Seafarers basic rights are disregarded, especially among Asians wherein they don't have a medical insurance.  Most seafarers sail out to the sea without having a insurances or clear pension policies.  But though seafarers know that they have to shoulder expenses for medical treatment of any injuries or illnesses they endure while working at sea, they still do their work on these ships.  Seafarers still perform their duty even without the basic rights that they truly deserve.


6. Seafarers lives are exposed in danger when sailing through piracy and war zones.  We've heard news about ships being hijacked, and ships crew being hostaged by pirates.  Others tortured, abused and kept hostaged seafarers in undesirable conditions.  But despite this, seafarers still do their duties whenever they sail through these dangerous seas.  Even though pirates are always waiting on routes of ships carrying raw materials, food, and manufactured goods, seafarers bravely continue their daily routine on board.  They have a choice to say no travelling to these piracy zones, but they think first of the consequences if the refuse to work in such areas.


7. Seafarers faithfully obey even with the toughest laws and regulations from different countries.  Every country, region or area that seafarers ship passes through has its own laws and regulations that they implement.  And sometimes, these are use to harassed seafarers and imply criminal case to them.  At such, seafarers are left with no choice but to be prisoned and sometimes tortured.  Because of the nature of their work at sea, they have no idea where to seek help when they are in trouble.  Seafarers usually have to deal with their situation on their own.


8. Seafarers waive their social life.  One of the biggest sacrifice a seafarer put through is being away from their loved ones when they're sailing and doing their work at sea. Seafarers have to missed birthdays, family gatherings or reunions and weddings because they have to fulfill their duties at ship.  Sometimes seafarers were not able to attend funerals of their loved ones, too.  Seafarers have to do their job to ensure that celebrations from around the world wouldn't stop, even if it means sacrificing their own happiness.


9. Seafarers don't live a luxury life when they're on board.  If you think that seafarers sleep on a super comfy bed and eats all the delicious food the world has to offer, might as well think twice about it.  There are many seafarers who live in poor quality cabins and sleep on filthy bunk bed where they barely fit.  Other seafarers complains about the quality and insufficient food supply they get for the loads of work they've done for the day.  Some seafarers do not have a decent meal .  And the saddest part of it is seafarers have to deal with the poor accommodation and food while they continue to do their part of the contract.


10.  Seafarers are abused and abandoned while on their duties.  Seafarers are one of the most exploited and abused group of workers in the world.  Many seafarers are abandoned and unpaid by their shipping companies.   Seafarers sometimes faces unfair trials, accused and sentenced without getting help from representatives of their shipping companies or government.  Seafarers endure such scenarios of injustice and ill-treatment, but never fail to perform the job that they should do.  Seafarers should be treated well and fair because of the role they play in the global economy.


 

 

Seafarers live a tough lifestyle on board. They may be called the “shipping's greatest asset”, but these seafarers have left their families, friends and homes to take this lonely and dangerous job.  They neglect their own happiness and sacrifice a part of their life just to be able to serve more people.  This are the reasons why we should be thankful to our dear seafarers.   

 

 

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