Celebrating seafarers worldwide on 25 June: International Day of the Seafarer

IMO HQ London

On the International Day of the Seafarer, IMO Secretary-General Mr. Arsenio Dominguez pays tribute to the 2 million seafarers who keep global markets functioning and supply chains going.

In a video message to seafarers, Mr. Dominguez said: “Seafarers have been sorely tested in recent years – facing hostile acts from piracy or in conflict zones. I humbly acknowledge seafarers’ resilience and sacrifice in the name of work.”

Without seafarers there would be no shipping. And shipping is a lifeline for global trade.

United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres marked the day, saying: “Seafarers are vital in ensuring a seamless flow of essential goods that eventually make it into markets, homes, and onto our tables… But their own lives have been put on the line in the face of grave threats. Let us together salute them for their essential work and support their safety.” (Read UNSG’s full statement)

Attacks in the Red Sea

Attacks against international shipping can never be justified.

Since November 2023, innocent seafarers have been targeted in ongoing attacks on ships traveling through the Red Sea, stemming from geopolitical tensions. Too many attacks have been launched, damaging or sinking vessels, and resulting in at least four deaths, with many others injured.

IMO calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the Galaxy Leader and its crew, held for more than eight months.

IMO Secretary-General Dominguez said: “On this Day of the Seafarer, let us remember those who have lost their lives while simply doing their jobs, serving on these ships. Their dedication and sacrifice must not be overlooked. Attacks on the innocent can never be justified, and I will continue to advocate incessantly for the safety and well-being of seafarers.”

To raise awareness about the safety of seafarers, an IMO social media campaign has been launched, focusing on safety at sea.

Seafarers are invited to share photos and top tips for safety at sea, using the hashtag, #SafetyTipsAtSea on Facebook, LinkedIn, X or Instagram.

Organizations, shipping companies and anyone in the wider maritime community and public are also invited to show support for seafarers by joining the conversation with the hashtag.

Ms. KC Abigail Chin-Sood, a seafarer from the Philippines, shared her tips for women in the sector: “Safety at sea involves not only adhering to the highest standards of work safety but also, for women, establishing and maintaining clear boundaries with male colleagues. Preserving your dignity on board is crucial for ensuring your personal safety. By maintaining professionalism and setting boundaries, you can protect yourself from potential scandals and preserve your mental well-being, contributing to a safer and more positive experience on the ship.”

Mr. Yrhen Bernard Sabanal Balinis, also from the Philippines, added: “Communication is key onboard ships. Whether it be anchoring, pilot boarding, or mooring, the officers need keen situational awareness to ensure that things are running safely… But effective shipboard communication is not only limited to those. Is a crewmate feeling down, homesick, or anxious? Is abruptly agitated or constantly isolated? Has their performance drastically plummeted? Tactful communication plays an instrumental role in seafarers’ psychological safety.”

Source: IMO