I have been a really, really (or sort of) good girl this year!! It has not been an easy year in the marine industry, but we push forward delivering 90% of the world’s goods and energy.
What I really want for Christmas this year is the end of the crew change crisis. I want to see mariners able to embark and disembark from their ships in a safe and timely fashion. Despite the challenges getting to this point, I want countries to recognize them as “key workers” so they can either go home to their families or board their ships so they can provide for them.
I want them to know they are appreciated and valued for the service they are providing. A few years ago, IMO Secretary General Efthymios Mitropoulos said if it were not for shipping “Half the world would starve and the other half freeze.” Without our mariners, we would have no shipping, and hence, no global trade. I hope they realize how much we depend upon them.
There are groups that are working to make sure seafarers know how much they are appreciated. I am humbled to be the Honorary Chair of Heroes at Sea 2020 which invites participants to walk, jog, cycle or swim distances which collectively result in circumnavigating the globe. The culmination of the event is a virtual global concert on December 21st. The Heroes at Sea program is a tribute to the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 crisis, the world’s mariners, who have continued their mission of delivering food, medical supplies, energy, and goods without pause.
Join me in letting mariners know we care about them and appreciate their efforts to keep global society running. Be a part of this initiative so that we can all have a healthy and happy holiday season!
Carleen Lyden Walker
Chief Evolution Officer