Seafarers Awareness Week hopes to raise awareness of the dangerous and vital work seafarers do to keep Britain afloat.
This week (25 June-1 July) is Seafarers Awareness Week and the UK’s leading maritime welfare charity Seafarers UK alongside the International Maritime Organisation are asking people to ‘remember a seafarer’ during 2012 – a year which is already shaping up as a huge celebration of what it means to be British.
As an ‘island nation’ we absolutely depend on seafarers and the work they do 24/7, 365 days a year. Many have tough working lives, facing the challenges of the sea and rough weather, long periods of isolation and rare opportunities to keep in touch with family and friends. Members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines put their lives at risk to defend us. And sea fishermen have the most dangerous civilian job in the UK – 227 fishing boats were lost at sea between 2001 and 2010 and 657 fishermen were injured at work.
No one in the UK lives more than 70 miles from the coast and 95% of imports come by ship. But gone are the days when most British families knew at least one person who worked at sea, either in a merchant vessel, on a fishing boat, or serving in the Royal Navy.
We rely on imported fuel for our power stations, our hospitals and our cars. More than half of our food is imported – and almost all of that (95%) comes by sea. The UK has 12,700 commercial sea fishermen. Some of what they catch comes to market and is promptly sold overseas! 75% of the UK’s exports leave the country by ship, including luxury cars for the Chinese who, in return, load container ships with many of the products - including clothing, electronic goods and toys - that we simply expect to see on sale everyday in shops and supermarkets.
Seafarers UK provide annual grants of £2.5m to support seafarers in need, from across the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleets, Royal Navy and Royal Marines, and their families and they’re hoping Seafarers Awareness Week will help them raise both awareness and vital funds for these important Brits and their families.
Seafarers UK have produced a range of videos all about the hard work that seafarers do and the challenges that they face.
Click here to watch the videos:
Listen to the podcast: http://www.broadcastexchange.tv/live/seafarers-awareness-week