Harbour masters have often had seagoing experience and they understand just how important and how welcome it is when ports make provision for the welfare of seafarers.
Ingrid Römers, International Harbour Masters' Association says:
"Harbour masters are responsible for port safety, for safe operation of navigation in the port and its approaches, for environment, security and smooth shipping traffic.
We are rightly proud that our ports handle ever growing quantities of cargo, containers and passengers and we are quick to promote this success. But it can be easy to forget that it’s the seafarers on the ships they serve in that bring all those millions of tons of cargo from port to port around the world. In port business, seafarers often are ignored or perhaps just forgotten.
When a call at a port promises to be a bit more relaxing or fun, the seafaring profession could be a more attractive one. However, as ports become more efficient and ship turn-rounds faster, the time and opportunity to get ashore can be much reduced. So welfare in ports becomes even more important to the quality of life of seafarers.
Therefore, we are extremely happy with the MLC and the attention it brings to welfare ashore. The IHMA is delighted to be involved in the Port Welfare Partnership programme. We encourage all harbour masters and others who work in ports to look carefully at how their port can contribute to the welfare of seafarers. The Port Welfare Partnership programme is here to help us achieve this goal and improve the quality of seafarers lives."
All Ports & Authorities, Harbour Masters and Port Managers are encouraged to support the project via the contact us webpage.