The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant personal impact on many of our international seafarers, often the most vulnerable workers in our supply chain. Tight border restrictions in many countries, including Australia, means many seafarers will not step off their ships, potentially for months at a time.
Hence, they have limited opportunities to purchase personal supplies such as razors, soap and toothpaste; and equally, modicums of luxury such as snacks and magazines. Additionally, many will have limited opportunities to contact their families (often located in countries in the grip of the pandemic). Something as simple as an Australian phone SIM gives them that ability.
Maritime Safety Queensland is supporting an initiative in the port of Gladstone in packaging small gift packs of essentials, and treats, for those seafarers pulling into the multiple terminals at this port. It is hoped seafarer welfare centres along the Queensland coast as well as other maritime related industries and representative bodies may choose to get behind this initiative, a small ($20 per pack) but meaningful way to say thank you.
Following some social media posts yesterday a number of entities and individuals have come forward to support this initiative. Around 60 packs are now ready for delivery.
Mackay Stellar Maris today donated boxes of personal items for delivery to Gladstone Seafarer centre. Gladstone Seafarer Centre who initiated this program have also now exhausted all their supplies, with 60 care packs ready to go.
MSQ is currently working through a streamlined approval process to get the packs into terminals and delivered to vessels.
We all rely heavily on what flows into and out of our ports, now more than ever.
If you would like to get involved or donate please email email@example.com