Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Maritime Welfare Charity Hosts Annual Award Ceremony Online for First Time

Seafarers' Awards Celebrate Contributors to the Industry
Shipping News Feature

SINGAPORE – The Mission to Seafarers hosted its annual Seafarers' Awards in Singapore on Friday. The event, which celebrates individuals and organisations that have made significant contributions to improving the welfare of seafarers, was held for the first time in an online ceremony due to Covid-19.

The pandemic, understandably, featured in the opening speech to the event by Captain Rob Walker, Chairman of The Mission to Seafarers Singapore, who talked of the challenges that the shipping industry has faced this year and the need for welfare and support for seafarers and families, both at sea and on shore. In his speech, Capt. Walker said:

“This year has been one of significant challenge across the world and The Mission has adapted quickly to provide the variety of support needed all around the world during such a difficult time and under different regional restrictions. The support we have received from our regular partners and the generosity we have witnessed through extraordinary donations from corporate entities and individuals has been tremendous and thanks to everyone for their support of our mission but also of our seafarers.”

Split into five categories, the winners of this year’s awards are:

  • Seafarer's Award - The seafarer who has made a significant contribution to welfare at sea (presented by Rashpal Bhatti, VP, Maritime & Supply Chain Excellence, BHP Billiton Marketing Asia Pte Ltd) - Winner: Capt. Jaswinder Singh, Fleetship - Highly Commended: Capt Vinod Kumar, ASP Ships Group

    Capt. Singh and his crew were recognised for their professional conduct and gallant deeds rendered at sea in the rescue of four people when they received a MAYDAY call which was followed by the ‘abandon ship’ call. The four survivors were taken on board, looked after and transferred to the coastguard vessel the following day.

  • Shore-based Award - The shore-based person who has made a significant contribution to seafarers' welfare (presented by Nick Potter, General Manager, Shipping & Maritime, Asia Pacific Middle East at Shell Trading) - Winner: Bjørn Højgaard, Anglo-Eastern Univan Group

    Since the crew change crisis, Bjorn has actively addressed the issue of crew changes and sought key worker status for seafarers, lobbying government and industry bodies. When many others were apprehensive about arranging crew relief due to the uncertainty of air and ground transportation, Bjorn persevered.

  • Innovation Award - For the company who has embraced a new programme, project or training which has enhanced seafarers' welfare (presented by Capt Mike Meade – CEO M3Marine, Councillor of SSA and VP of Nautical Institute) - Winner: Thome Group - Highly Commended: North of England P&I Club

    Thome Group launched an employee benefit program called TSM Privilege Card which aims to aid offshore and onshore staff with their quality of life. Thome has also been investing heavily in wellness initiatives across the fleet to ensure mental and physical health and wellbeing of its crew and their families including many initiatives.

  • Cadet Award - for the Cadet or Trainee who has made a significant contribution to seafarers’ welfare at sea or ashore - (presented by Esben Poulsson, Chairman ICS, Vice President Mission to Seafarers) Winner: Jarin Chowdhury, ASP Ships Group

    Jarin Chowdhury is the first female cadet from Bangladesh on foreign flagged ships. She is an exceptional example of inspiration and achievement for the maritime community especially for female mariners. She motivates and mentors female seafarers in the country. Beyond her duties, she visits the Bangladesh Marine Academy and has been formally appointed as a mentor for junior cadets.

  • Secretary General Award - The person or company who has shown sustained efforts to improve seafarers’ welfare at sea or ashore (presented by Soon Kok, Chaplain Singapore) Winner: Frank Coles, Wallem Group - Highly Commended: Elizabeth Bleynat, former Mission to Seafarers intern<.b>

    As the impact of the pandemic reverberated through the shipping industry, Frank Coles has capitalised on his platform as Wallem CEO to advocate on behalf of seafarers, vigorously lobbying for industry regulators, trade bodies and national governments to deliver action rather than words as crew travel restrictions escalated into a human rights issue. He has participated in the intense discussions with authorities that were required to organising repatriations at a time when rules on border crossings were changing regularly.

Photo: A shot from the Mission’s ‘Flying Angel’ campaign, aimed at minimising the effects of Covid-19 on those at sea or trapped in port and their families.