During difficult times like these, it’s often easy to forget to show gratitude to those who are working so hard. Since we’re not ones for words, we hope the original author doesn’t mind if we reproduce an open letter published in today’s Maritime Clippings.
The Forgotten Service:
We all applaud, and rightly so, and are grateful for all the people in medical and essential services for keeping us safe and supplied with what we need.
Regretfully as usual I have neither heard nor seen any mention of the Merchant Navy without whom there would be nothing to distribute. Spare a thought for the 1.6 million seafarers of all nationalities serving on circa 55,000 cargo vessels criss-crossing the world’s oceans in good and bad weather keeping every nation including our own supplied with food, fuel, raw materials to keep us supplied with essentials that enable us to survive.
Not everything is home grown or home produced, over 93% of what we use comes by sea, without these seafarers there would be nothing to distribute, even in the largest countries in the world. These men and women are not only separated from their families thousands of miles away, they have to sail from country to country each of which are infected with Covid-19. Upon arrival and departure from these various ports, their vessel and private cabins are invaded by immigration, customs search squads who may or may not have coronavirus, in addition they have to endure stevedores who may or may not have coronavirus swarming all over their vessels.
If these Merchant Navy personnel decided to down tools and say enough is enough then the world, without exaggeration would be thrown into darkness after current stockpiles of food and fuel are exhausted. So please also spare a thought for these forgotten men and women who are going about their duties, unseen, unheard and unappreciated to keep the world supplied with essentials of life and industry, we are an island, and we need them.
Put more eloquently than we could manage.
Scotline are, as always, trying to be part of the solution by being part of this supply chain whilst keeping everyone, particularly our seafarers, safe during this period. We hope that everyone stays safe during these difficult times.