For many of us, Christmas is a time to gather together with family and friends, but the reminders of our reliance on the world’s seafarers will still be all around us. It could be the traditional fish dinner enjoyed by some on Christmas Eve, or the gifts under the tree, many of which will have been shipped around the world to reach their (hopefully grateful) recipient. So we really should spare a thought not just for how much we rely on them this festive season and indeed all year round, but also for the many thousands of seafarers and their families who will be spending Christmas Day apart from one another as the global shipping industry continues with business as usual.
We know how challenging and hazardous their profession can be, whether fishing in local waters, or sailing around the world. Closer to home for us at BLUE, this BBC story provides an important reminder of the realities of the livelihood of those working in the Scottish fishing industry, including the risks that they face every day. Further afield, organisations like the Sailors’ Society do invaluable work to support seafarers around the globe, whether through ship visits by port chaplains and volunteers, training initiatives for those at sea, or practical support for seafarers’ families. This year, the Sailors’ Society Christmas appeal is raising funds for a library boat to give the gift of education to the children of seafarers. It’s a very worthy cause that we’re proud to support, and anyone that would like to donate can do so here.
Wishing all of our colleagues and friends around the world a very happy Christmas and a peaceful festive season.