Weekly Press Review

There has not been much positive news to focus on this week and unfortunately the maritime industry has not been spared. Along with the two students from North West high school who are still missing, presumed drowned, off Camps Bay Beach; two fishermen also lost their lives this week after their boat capsized near Kleinmond on Monday morning.

Skipper, Philip Schoeman told of his horrific nine hour ordeal clinging to his capsized vessel. “Conditions were very extreme. The water was about 12 and a half degrees. The wind picked up. Water came over our faces all the time.” The group was rescued by the NSRI. Two crewmen, as well as Schoeman’s son survived.

This week once again shows what a cruel place the ocean can be. With World Maritime Day falling in this week, perhaps this is good time to reflect on those individuals who place their lives in danger on a daily basis in pursuit of careers at sea and how we benefit from their actions.

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World Maritime Day

Today is World Maritime Day today. This day, set aside for the last week of September each year, offers a day to reflect on how the maritime industry has influenced our lives over the past year and also offers an opportunity for organisations, companies and individuals to actively do something to acknowledge the people involved in an industry that so many take for granted.

This year South Africa is recognising the day with various events around the country. Transport Deputy Minister, Honourable Sindisiwe Chikunga will host the World Maritime Day Career Expo and Exhibition in Kimberley in the Northern Cape. The celebrations are being held under the theme: “Sustainable Development: International Maritime Organisation’s contribution beyond Rio+20.”
The event is being attended by school children from previously disadvantaged communities who will be given the chance to display their knowledge of the maritime sector through educational displays and exhibitions.

Schools around the Northern Cape will participate in a competition involving: ship designing, essay writing, drama and art competition.

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the Department of Environmental Affairs, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), Transnet Port Terminals (TPT), Grindrod Shipping Company, Smit Amandla Marine and various other key maritime stakeholders will engage with the learners, providing information surrounding various activities within the maritime industry.

The day will be closed with a gala dinner.

The South Africa Navy is also acknowledging the day and participating in the celebrations.

World Maritime Day in South Africa also serves as a platform to create awareness around the career opportunities available within the maritime industry. It’s just a bit of a pity that the industry seems to rely on the usual suspects (see the list above) to promote their sector. Where is everyone else? We should all be involved in these initiatives.

Make a note in your diaries because in September 2014 Maritime Review will challenge the entire industry to come to the party!