Now in their second year the SAMSA Seafarer of the Year Awards celebrate the role of South African Seafarers in the country’s economy as well as their contribution to safe seas, prevention of pollution at sea and job creation.
Understanding that over 90 percent of our local trade is carried by the shipping industry; that fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world; that oil companies are drilling further and further offshore and that incidents do occur at sea that require human intervention – it is clear that the men and women who choose a career at sea do so facing many challenges.
The SAMSA Seafarer of the Year Awards are designed to honour the choices that our seafarers make everytime that they go to sea. These awards, nominated by peers and employers, offer recognition of the challenging working environments and often the dangers that they face.
Culminating in a gala dinner and entertainment evening in Maritime Month (October 2011), the SAMSA Seafarer of the Year Awards go beyond thanking those that excel at sea – they aim to raise the profile of seafarers and the maritime industry as a whole in a country that is reliant on their contribution.
The inaugural awards in 2010 drew a high level of nominations from the industry and gave me a rare opportunity to interview some exceptional individuals. I am once again looking forward to engaging with those that remain the backbone of the industry.
I was also humbled by those that took the time to nominate their peers. Oftentimes we get so caught up in our own lives and issues, but acknowledging others is such a simple way to give back to those that deserve the recognition.
Our partners in this initiative also need recognition. The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has once again put their weight behind the awards as the title sponsor. Smit Amandla Marine and Grindrod Limited (as employers of a great many South African seafarers) prove once again that they understand the importance of their own crew. Sea Harvest – one of our top fishing companies also partners us for the second year as does Business Partners.
Entries are now open and members of the South African maritime community can download the nomination form from our website (www.maritimesa.co.za) or nominate directly online. Click on the SAMSA Seafarer of the Year logo on the home page to learn more!