Ships across Canada sounded their horns today at 12 noon (local time) to recognize the 1.2 million seafarers around the world, who are keeping countries supplied with food, fuel and important supplies such as vital medical equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Canada’s marine industry associations, including the Chamber of Marine Commerce, the Chamber of Shipping, the Shipping Federation of Canada, and the Association of Canadian Port Authorities engaged their members to participate in this world-wide initiative.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITWF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) encouraged this gesture of solidarity to recognize seafarers, the “unsung heroes of global trade,” during International Workers’ Day.
This global initiative was also to help draw attention to issues with crew changes that some international ships have encountered due to COVID-19-related border and travel restrictions, resulting in seafarers extending their time onboard ships after lengthy periods at sea. While the Canadian government has recognized ship crews as “essential workers” and has been working with the marine sector to resolve any issues that arise – the ICS and ITWF have been advocating for the implementation of similar measures in other countries around the world.
Here’s what the salute looked like in Hamilton Friday at noon: