SOS campaign participation has been boosted amazingly!
In 2010, Kuba Szymanski joined InterManager as Secretary . He quotes that “Today, I believe I’m representing my self. Seafarer”
S4S: Today, how many seafarers are being occupied worldwide?
CZ: We can’t say precisely how many seafarers there are. We can only estimate that they are approximately 1,3 to 1,5 millions. These figures are based on the discharge books or as we call them, on seamen ‘s books. The biggest problem is that we don’t have a definition of seafarer, which specifically states who can be characterized as a seafarer. There are many captains such as also many chief engineers in the world. Can these people be characterized as seafarers? I would say definitely yes!
S4S: How many active seafarers do we have in Greece? Is Greece the biggest supplier of seafarers in Europe?
CZ: There are about 35,000 seafarers. Greece could be the biggest supplier, indeed! Still is. But is going to lose that position very soon as other countries are chasing the competition. For example, Poland is very close, as it has about 32,000 active seafarers. Outside the EU, Turkey is the country that provides the shipping industry. About 80,000 seafarers, twice as much as Greece and Poland together.
S4S.How many Filipino seafarers do we have serving at sea?
CZ: If we have 1,3 millions of seafarers in the sea, the percentage is around 60% . There are approximately 800,000 Filipino seafarers. We can learn a lot from this country. Even if we blame Philippines for many things, surprisingly, it is much more organized concerning the figures which have been recorded at the books.
S4S: Tell us few words about the SOS Campaign.
CZ:Everyone can make a big difference. All he has to do is to visit www.saveourseafarers.com website and participate in the Campaign by sending his letter. Even though big names of the shipping associations such as BIMCO, INTERTANKO, INTERMANAGER and ITF, participate , this unprecedented effort needs each individual in order to make a worldwide impact.
S4S: Tell us also a few words for Maritime Piracy: Humanitarian Response Programme.
CZ: It is another initiative extremely important concerning the piracy problem. Unfortunately, if someone googles the word “Humanitarian Response” doesn’t get the required results as it is not easy to find them. So, it is better to remember the official site which is the http://www.mphrp.org/ Hoping never anyone to use this site, in case a vessel is hijacked, it is a very useful website for how to deal with family of the hostages and the individual. It is actually the humanitarian side of the maritime piracy effect.
Capt.Kuba Szymanski supported the SOS campaign during his presentation at 2nd Safety4Sea Forum where the NEW Save Our Seafarers Campaign Film was released. After the event, SOS Campaign managers informed Safety4Sea that the SOS campaign participation in Greece has been boosted as a result of the forum from 280 to well above 600!
Capt. Kuba Szymanski is Secretary General at InterManager
The above interview is adapted from Kuba’s presentation at 2nd Safety4Sea Forum
You can view Kuba’s presentation video during 2nd Safety4Sea Forum