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24th June 2020

Day of the Seafarer 2020 calls for 'key worker' status to end crew change crisis

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, seafarers have played an instrumental role in maintaining the essential flow of goods around the world including food, medicines, and medical supplies. With many seafarers having been away from home for months and unsure when they will be able to return home due to travel restrictions, the 2020 ‘Day of the Seafarer’ observed on 25th June, will pay tribute to the sacrifice and issues they face.

This year’s Day of the Seafarer campaign, led by the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) renews the call on Member States to recognize seafarers as key workers, and therefore provide them with the support, assistance and travel options available to other key workers.

The campaign also seeks to raise awareness of the work achieved by seafarers in response to the pandemic and to thank them for their contribution. Everyone is invited to recognize that the ability of seafarers to deliver vital goods is central to responding to, and eventually overcoming this pandemic.

Many Satcom Global customers have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus situation and related restrictions. To show our support, back in April we offered free telephone vouchers, to enable the crew onboard to make additional contact with home and family, whilst being faced with a longer spell at sea than usual.

To date, over 6000 seafarers on approximately 300 vessels using our Aura VSAT service have taken up the free voucher offer, from over 30 different ship owners and managers.  We have also been able to provide additional support to customers through initiatives organised by satellite networks Iridium and Inmarsat. 

Maritime transport depends on the 2 million seafarers who operate the world’s merchant ships, which carry more than 80% of global trade by volume, including most of the world’s food, energy, raw materials, and manufactured goods. According to the IMO and the UN, crew changeovers are essential for the continuity of shipping in a safe and sustainable manner.

For more information on Day of the Seafarer, please click hereYou can show your support for seafarers with messages on social media using the hashtag #SeafarersAreKeyWorkers

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Day of the seafarer 2020
Just like other key workers, seafarers are on the front line in this global fight. They deserve our thanks. But they also need – and deserve – quick and decisive humanitarian action from governments everywhere..."
Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General