Rear Admiral (ret’d) Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica and former chairman of the International Maritime Organisation’s Standards of Training & Watchkeeping sub-committee, was guest of honour at the 50th anniversary National Maritime celebrations in Mumbai, India.
Admiral Brady joined the Honourable Union Minister of Shipping Shri G. K. Vasan and Indian Shipping Secretary Shri P. K. Sinha at the event, the theme of which was: Celebrating The Past And Charting The Future Of Indian Shipping.
Delivering the keynote speech, he outlined the recent Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and spoke of India’s important contribution towards the effort. Speaking afterwards, Admiral Brady said: “India plays an important role in the global shipping industry and provides a large number of officers and seafarers to the international fleet. It was a great honour to attend this event and to celebrate India’s commitment to crew welfare and standards of seamanship.”
He told guests: “As a maritime practitioner, I am cognisant of the needs of the shipping industry for highly qualified and capable seafarers on the one hand and, on the other hand, the needs of the seafarers themselves to be competent and confident in their work at sea, based on sound technical knowledge, training and experience. Competency achieved through the fulfillment of the requirements of the STCW Convention satisfies both the industry and the seafarer himself. It also provides for higher levels of safety, security and efficiency of shipping, along with the sensitivity to protect the marine environment.”
The Indian shipping sector has seen tremendous growth since the country’s independence in 1947 when its merchant shipping fleet consisted of 59 ships with a total tonnage of about 0.19 MGT. Today the Indian fleet has increased to 1, 162 vessels comprising 10.36 MGT. Shipping Minister Vasan told guests that more than 250 Indian seafarers have been taken hostage by pirates since 2007 and eight Indian crew members are currently held hostage in Somalia. “I would like to reiterate that the Government of India is working hard to secure the early and safe release of our seafarers held hostage. We shall continue our proactive role, both domestically and internationally, in curbing the menace of piracy, ” he said.