Ships sound their horns in support of seafarers on Labour Day

Ports around the world are joining today an initiative encouraging ships to sound their horns for 15 seconds at noon as a special tribute to the contributions of seafarers in keeping supply chains robust and maritime trade going amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative, dubbed the Horns of Hope, was launched under the banner of Abu Dhabi Ports and very shortly received support from hundreds of ports in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas as ships sounded horns to support front-line workers each evening.

On the occasion of Labour Day, the symbolic gesture has received even larger support from ports across the globe.

“As the world’s standard-setting organisation for the shipping industry, it is heartening to see the Horns of Hope solidarity campaign begun by the UAE has been so enthusiastically adopted by global ports,” Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, said.

“Those who work in shipping to keep the sea lines open for the world are to be admired and respected for their daily selfless acts of courage in the face of adversity and challenge. We are grateful and continue to applaud our members for their support of the Horns of Hope campaign.”

The International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers Federation have jointly called upon countries to recognise seafarers as key workers of global trade, and to shed light on the important work they carry out in the ongoing pandemic.

The support is of extreme importance as seafarers face an unprecedented crisis with regard to crew changes due to the pandemic-related travel bans and restrictions, leaving thousands of workers at sea.

Singapore has also joined the campaign.

  “Singapore is grateful to every member of our maritime workforce for their tireless contributions over the years in building Singapore into a global hub port and an international maritime centre. In these challenging times, we wish to show our appreciation to maritime personnel, especially seafarers, and stand in solidarity to ensure that global trade and supply lines stay resilient to support pandemic response around the world,” Quah Ley Hoon, MPA’s Chief Executive, said.

“Seafarers are essential service providers of the global supply chain. They play a critical role during this pandemic by transporting essential goods such as food and medicine to consumers and hospitals across the world. On Labour Day, we call on ships to collectively sound their horns to show our appreciation and solidarity with our seafarers, the unsung heroes of global trade,” Mary Liew, SMOU’s General Secretary, said.

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