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10 simple ways to make seafarers happy

Most seafarers, I believe, have modest demands. They just want to earn an honest living and take care of their families with the least hassle possible. They don’t want to be treated like royalty or hailed as heroes on the annual Day of the Seafarer. Alas, what little they expect is often tossed overboard in a shipping world that is driven by the love of money.

How much are the lives of seafarers worth?

The shipping industry is never short of hearts that bleed for seafarers. But how much value does it actually place on the men and women who work at sea? Part of the answer can be found in the cash benefits paid out under the ITF collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) to the families of seafarers who die whilst in sea service.

Maritime do-gooders in Manila are wearing blinkers

There is no shortage of maritime do-gooders in Manila: seafarer unions, maritime charities, party list groups advocating seafarers’ rights, shipping journalists, and even (don’t laugh now) manning agents. Though they seem well-intentioned, these bleeding hearts remind me of a 19th-century pen and chalk drawing (pictured above) by Dutch artist Johannes Tavenraat which depicts a horse with blinkers.

Six things seafarers can do to make 2022 a fulfilling year

“Let every new year find you a better man,” wrote Benjamin Franklin, the American statesman and inventor, in his 1914 Poor Richard’s Almanack. The following are some things seafarers can do this year to achieve that goal. No doubt, they can think of other ways. The thing is to undertake some new activity and open a path to self-fulfillment. A prosperous New Year need not mean prosperity only in financial terms.

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