In exactly a month’s time – on the 25th June 2011 – the shipping sector will acknowledge the role of seafarers as they celebrate the International Day of the Seafarer. For the public at large, however, the day will probably go largely unnoticed. Most will not spare a thought for the men and women who go to sea to navigate the produce, the appliances, the toys, the luxuries and the necessities of daily living to their doorsteps. Most will not understand the sacrifices and the challenges that seafarers make and overcome to ensure that 90 percent of all goods in our shopping malls are available to us.
The International Maritime Organisation understands this situation and has challenged the maritime community to help promote the very vital work undertaken by those at sea. They are encouraging bloggers, companies and individuals to write and talk about the contribution made by all seafarers and have even created a package to assist those wanting to participate.
The idea is to create Flash Mobs in all our port cities as well as in Gauteng in places that show the impact of international trade. For example in Cape Town – the V&A Waterfront is an ideal location as it neighbours the port and vividly showcases international trade that the retailers rely on to stock their stores.
The group will seemingly appear out of the general public and activate attention by: Putting on a lifejacket and saluting at attention while a designated person (or the whole group) sings the South African National Anthem. As the Anthem draws to an end, the group will once again remove their lifejackets and merge into the general public.
The “incident” will be video recorded and photographed to document our efforts to acknowledge the contribution made by seafarers.
We have created a Facebook page for South African Seafarers and listed the Flash Mob under the events section to make it easy for people to sign up and become involved. Simply click on the link above and join the conversation.
We already have team leaders in Cape Town and Durban, but will welcome candidates from other areas who would like to spearhead a Flash Mob in their own region. Groups can be any size and do not have to consist of people in the industry!
I look forward to engaging with the industry in this initiative!