Seafarers Day Commemorated
Seafarers in the country including students at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) School of Maritime and Fisheries studies celebrated ‘International Day of Seafarers’ today at SINU Ranadi Campus in Honiara.
The theme this year, “Oceans Worth Protecting”, set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is centered on seafarers’ vital role in preserving the marine environment, echoing the overarching World Maritime theme of ‘MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on’.
The MARPOL 2023 regulation is a crucial update to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. It was developed by the IMO with the goal of minimising pollution of the oceans and seas, including dumping, oil, and air pollution.
Speaking on behalf of the Solomon Islands Maritime School (SIMS), Director, Captain/Dr. Teorae Kabure stressed the importance of the day.
Captain Kabure said marking of the day is history as it is the first time the seafarer’s day is marked and celebrated in such a way in Solomon Islands.
He highlighted that about 90 percent of goods and commodities that are in the country are transported by ships.
“Seafarers are the ones driving, navigating, and moving the ships from ports to ports, in other words, no seafarers, no ships coming.
“Here in the country, we always believe that Solomon Islands is a maritime nation, my question is, are we serious about our statement? If so, then being a maritime nation, Solomon Islands seafarers must therefore be in our hearts.” SIMS Director Captain/Dr. Kabure expressed.
Vice Chancellor of SINU, Dr. Transform Aqorau similarly acknowledged the work that seafarers do stating that they have played a vital role in shaping the nation’s history, culture, and economy.
“From ancient navigators who transverse vast distances in their traditional canoes to the modern-day seafarers operating in sophisticated vessels, they have been the lifeline of our nation, connecting us to the global trade network and ensuring the prosperity of our islands.
“Their economic significance cannot be overstated; our seafarers facilitate international trade and transporting goods and commodities to and from our shores.” Dr. Aqorau pointed out.
The seafarer’s day celebrations also included a show which seafarers and Maritime School students sounded the SIMS eight (8) strokes on its bell, followed by a long blast on its whistle to signal the firing of parachute rockets from the school’s jetty. Ships in around the area also sound their horns and sirens.
The day ended with some entertainments.
By Alex Dadamu