458RE: [PMMC-NLUS] Re: World's Largest Cargo Ship - Emma Maersk
- Jul 1, 2009
Great article John –You raise some really good points, but I couldn’t help but think about how this modern technology in creating a much faster turnaround has affected the human factor -- the seafarer -- who sails both the “wet” and the “dry” vessels and who through this modernization and advanced technology are faced with shorter and shorter times in port, sometimes as little as 8 – 10 hours. I totally support faster ships, new efficiencies and new cranes that are all essential to reducing the turnaround time and lay time (“time is money”), but who is around to care for the seafarer who often signs a 300 day contract and may spend up to 250 days at sea, with the remaining 50 days in port that is broken up into 10 to 20 hour port calls. It is mostly the seafarers centers around the world, who step in to meet and greet the seafarers when they arrive in port and to provide support services to them that include, but not limited to, counseling, meals recreational activities, telephones, internet access, transportation and advocacy.
One of these seafarer’s centers is the Oakland International Maritime Center (website: sfbayfarer.org) which is currently being operated by the Bay Area Seafarers Service (BASS) who have just merged their operation with the Seamen’s church institute (SCI) of New York (seamenschurch.org). SCI will be taking over the entire BASS operation later this month. I invite you to look at these two websites, especially the SCI one (seamenschurch.org) to see what the waterfront ministry is all about. Keep in mind that it is about caring for seafarers, not about proselytizing.
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