Day of the Seafarer

Day of the Seafarer Quick Facts - AU

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2024 Date25 June 2024
2025 Date25 June 2025

Day of the Seafarer

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Day of the Seafarer History

The Day of the Seafarer is an annual observance dedicated to recognising the invaluable contribution that seafarers make to the global economy and society. Held worldwide, the event seeks to acknowledge and celebrate the unsung heroes of the maritime industry, paying tribute to their courage, perseverance, and commitment. The Day of the Seafarer not only serves as a reminder of their vital role but also aims to raise awareness of the challenging conditions many seafarers face, including isolation from loved ones, long periods spent away from home, and potential dangers at sea.

Established in 2010 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Day of the Seafarer has since been observed by maritime communities across the globe, including Australia. As a nation with a rich maritime history and vast coastline, the welfare and recognition of seafarers hold great significance for Australia. With over 90% of the country's trade being facilitated by sea, the Day of the Seafarer presents an opportunity for Australians to express their gratitude and appreciation for the men and women who work tirelessly to keep the wheels of commerce and trade turning.

In Australia, the Day of the Seafarer is commemorated through a variety of customs and activities, such as community events, educational workshops, and maritime-themed celebrations. Maritime organisations, unions, and associations often come together to raise awareness and encourage public support for the betterment of seafarers' lives. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, for instance, has been instrumental in promoting the Observance, implementing safety regulations and overseeing seafarer welfare initiatives. The Day of the Seafarer is held annually on the 25th of June, providing a fitting platform for the maritime community in Australia and around the world to come together and celebrate their invaluable contribution to global society.

Day of the Seafarer facts

  • The theme for Day of the Seafarer in 2024 was Navigating the future: safety first!.
    In 2023 the theme was MARPOL at 50 – Our commitment goes on.
  • Worldwide, only about 2% to 10% of maritime containers are inspected.
  • In 2020, the day took on special significance because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many seafarers were stranded at sea due to travel restrictions, which prevented crew changes, and led to significant international attention to their plight.
  • Seafarers play a crucial role in Australia's economy, as over 90% of the country's exports are transported by sea. This includes commodities such as coal, iron ore, and agricultural products.
  • Australia has one of the largest seaborne trading systems in the world, making the contributions of seafarers particularly significant to the country's economy.

Top things to do in Australia for Day of the Seafarer

  • Learn more about the issues seafarers are facing.
  • Browse the International Maritime Organization's publications and learn more about the maritime industry and seafarers.
  • Participate in a local sailing event. Many coastal cities and towns have sailing clubs that host races, regattas, or leisure sailing events that people can join to celebrate the Day of the Seafarer.
  • Visit the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney. The museum features exhibits and collections related to Australia's maritime history, including ships, submarines, and various marine artifacts.

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