Pretoria, South Africa, June 24, 2013 – The South African Maritime Safety Authority – SAMSA – would like to honour, acknowledge and give a heartfelt ‘Thank you’ to all seafarers as part of its commemoration and celebration of the International Day of the Seafarer which will take place tomorrow (Tuesday), on 25 June.
This year’s theme to celebrate the maritime industry’s unsung heroes is “Faces of the Sea”.
At the coal face of driving economies around the world and at the forefront supporting international trade the seafarers, whether deck hands, captains of ships, engineers and cadets, play a very significant role in ensuring nations’ economic growth and sustainability.
Chief Executive Officer for SAMSA, CommanderTsietsi Mokhele said that Seafarers were the face of the maritime industry and had continuously worked hard to strive for excellence. “Seafarers are those brave hearts who risk their lives, give up months of family time and being on land, to go out to sea, to not only support and protect our beloved country and their nations, but also to create an impact on each and every citizen by insuring international trade, which affects us all. They are the face of ensuring that the environment is protected, trade is flowing and our communities are able to thrive and develop themselves. It is therefore essential to raise our hands in salutation to these fearless men and women, ” said Mokhele.
Mokhele encouraged the country to get together and acknowledge these unsung heroes as the world prepares for the International Day of the Seafarer tomorrow. “The Day of the Seafarer is a day for the 1.5 million worldwide Seafarers. People should clap hands and join to concede the role that Seafarers play in our lives. If we understand the work, and the lives endured by seafarers we go leaps ahead in understanding the role they play, ” said Mokhele.
As a commemoration to the seafarers and their challenging and demanding job, SAMSA continuously aims to support and provide jobs in the maritime industry both for men and women. “The maritime industry provides 98% of the country’s trade and is seen as one of the leading and vital industries to be part of. SAMSA would like to combine this industry where an abundance of jobs are available to combat the countries current plight in unemployment, ” said Mokhele.
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.
SAMSA also aims to ensure the Seafarer (and all cabin crew on broad) the best safety possible. “Our Seafarers are the best of the best, as we provide on board training that is up to international standards. Mokhele said, “The job of a Seafarer should be known as one risks his or her life for the country and thus we as a safety authority for South African Maritime does everything in our power to ensure that our vessels are up to standard, all equipment is working and in top order and that the crew is equipped to handle any type of situation and weather while out in the water.”
Mokhele said that the face of this years International Day of the Seafarer is none other than South Africa’s very own talented and skilled brave heart, Luthando Skoti who is the first cadet to qualify under the SAMSA administrated National Cadetship Program. “In keeping with our aims to provide training and facilities of top international standard in maritime, SAMSA hosted an array of national programs to sift out skilled cadets, like Luthando, who is not only a face of this year’s International Seafarer Day but is also the epitome of bravery on the sea, ” said Mokhele.
Mokhele said SAMSA would create an awareness on board its own Dedicated Training Vessel, the Agulhas, which is currently in Durban to commemorate the Day of the Seafarer, tomorrow. “The Agulhas is one of SAMSA’s pride and joy; as it is a training vessel for cadets. The vessel was recently involved in an expedition to the Antarctica after journeying through Africa and the United Kingdom with cadets manning the vessel.