Monday, April 6, 2020

Vessels Around the World Show Support for Personnel Critical to Work Through the Pandemic

Global Harbours Resound Every Night to the Sound of Ships Horns
Shipping News Feature

ABU DHABI – WORLDWIDE – Whilst people across Europe lean from their windows on Thursday nights to clap hands and bang pans to show gratitude to those helping manage the Covid-19 pandemic, on the seas of the world a slightly noisier acknowledgement in recognition and support of the maritime, healthcare, and critical sector personnel who continue to work in mission-critical roles to address the impact is occurring each evening.

The world’s maritime sector is standing in solidarity with communities around the world battling the coronavirus pandemic by joining Abu Dhabi Ports initiative ‘Horns of Hope’. In a world-first campaign, all ships in harbours around the world will sound their horns in 15-second bursts each evening in an initiative launched on March 31.

Now both the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the 174 member state strong United Nations specialised agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping, and the Arab Sea Ports Federation have formally committed their members to the cause. Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Abu Dhabi Ports Group CEO, said:

“It is deeply humbling and touching to witness the wide regional and global response to our call to sound the ‘Horns of Hope’. This initiative spreads hope around the world and highlights the vital importance of our maritime and logistics lifelines at a time of crisis.

“We are proud of all essential critical infrastructure workers, administrative and core operations employees who are still working on ground, and around the clock, to drive business continuity, both in Abu Dhabi’s ports as well as all teams working in all ports across the world. We highly appreciate all the government efforts to face the Covid-19 consequences, and its strong commitment to support all business sectors.”

In the short time since Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic, cases continue to soar. More than half the world’s student population is not attending school, offices are working remotely when possible, borders have been closed, airlines have been grounded, and lives disrupted.

However, port workers, mariners, equipment operators and administration staff are continuing to maintain the steady movement of cargo in the face of the global emergency. Their hard work and dedication helps guarantee that supply lines remain open, ensuring that shelves remain stocked and hospitals secure needed medical supplies. Abdulla Al Muharrami, Head of the Regional Office of Arab Sea Ports Federation, said:

“Arab sea ports are the region’s lifeline to the world; they are the single greatest source of our supplies, both raw materials and finished goods, from Cairo to Fujairah and Kuwait City to Jeddah. Across all Arab sea ports, we are honoured to sound our horns of hope in unison to show our genuine thanks for the efforts of so many, in so many different areas of service, who continue to overcome the daily challenges presented by Covid-19 to fully undertake their professional roles, so that the rest of us may remain safely at home.”

The ‘Horns of Hope’ campaign expects to see vessels within the world’s port harbours signalling solidarity by sounding their horns each day at 18:30 hours for the remainder of the ongoing global battle against the coronavirus.

Photo: A demonstration of ‘Horns of Hope’.