There are one and a quarter million of them, but most people don't know they are there, as they mostly work, quite literally, over the horizon. The jobs they do are absolutely vital and without them, world trade, industrial growth and progress would screech to a halt. In many parts of the world, without them, whole populations would freeze in the dark without fuel, and even starve, because they had run short of food.
These important people are the world's seafarers, who operate upwards of 50,000 ships in oceans, seas and coastal waters and on June 25, which has been designated "Day of the Seafarer", there is an annual opportunity to thank them all.
Seafaring has always been a challenging job, working in a hostile environment, and even in an era of satellite navigation and big, sophisticated ships, traditional dangers are still to be encountered. But we take for granted that the ships will arrive, bringing their cargoes of every description, from all around the world in a reliable, dependable conduit of world trade.
The seafarers who run this fleet are special people. They leave their homes and families, often for long periods. They are highly trained professionals who operate some of the world's biggest man-made moving objects, in a safe and responsible fashion, in a business that runs every day of the year, 24/7, with astonishing precision. They deserve our thanks and recognition for the vital role they play.
IMO believes that on this Day of the Seafarer, the hugely positive work of seafarers on the daily lives of ordinary people ought to be publicly recognised. They are suggesting that besides just thinking about this maritime workforce, everyone ought to choose one object that came by sea, and without which they just could not live.
BIMCO is proud to be associated with this "Day of the Seafarer" campaign. We know just how valuable our seafarers are, and hope that at the end of the day other people around the world might appreciate them and what they do for the world, a little better.