Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
(Based on the news release kindly provided by Seafarers UK)
Retired businessman Mark Ashley-Miller, 56, sets out from Dartmouth today (29 March) to circumnavigate the UK and visit every Harbour Master on an epic two-year voyage.
Mark is sailing his 34ft ketch ‘Good Dog’ from harbour to harbour in a clockwise direction around the UK, with the aim of meeting as many Harbour Masters as possible and asking them questions in order to gather a unique record of them, their harbours and their work.
He is doing this in support of Seafarers UK, raising money for the charity and awareness of men’s mental health in the maritime industry.
Mark Ashley Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07817 845775
Marie Robson, Seafarers UK, email@example.com, 020 7932 5960
Has anyone does this before? There is no record of such a trip - so maybe it’s a first?
Will Mark sail alone? For most of the trip Mark is being joined by friends and family, although his boat can be sailed single-handed. Volunteer crews are welcome!
What type of boat is ‘Good Dog’? A Nauticat 331 mono-hull motor-sailor ketch with a 75hp engine. She is 34ft long, sleeps six and was made in Finland.
Can you follow his voyage? Yes. Using any marine traffic app, search for ‘Good Dog’ and see Mark’s position live!
How many Harbour Masters are there in the UK? It is estimated there are 459 official Harbour Masters in the UK, plus part time, seasonal, private and volunteer Harbour Masters. There are also Pier Masters and Slipway Masters.
How long will the challenge take? It is estimated to take at least two years, depending on the weather.
How will the challenge be recorded? To record the challenge, Mark plans to ask every Harbour Master that he meets a couple of questions about their work:
- What is the unique fact or feature about your harbour?
- What is the most unusual thing you have done or experienced as a Harbour Master?
The results will be recorded on Instagram and published after completion.
What charity is Mark supporting? The primary charity being supported is Seafarers UK (formally King George’s Fund for Sailors, launched in 1917). Seafarers UK has been helping people in the maritime community for over 100 years, by providing vital support to seafarers in need and their families, and to those in education or training who are preparing to work or serve at sea. The charity does this by giving grants to organisations and projects that make a real difference to people’s lives. In particular, this challenge will highlight mental health issues in the maritime industries. Beneficiaries of the charity will also be visited on the circumnavigation. www.seafarers.uk
When not sailing, Mark is Church Warden to a tiny church in Lillington, Dorset, and 10% of the money he raises is going to its restoration fund.
Our picture shows a Carnival line up. Five Carnival ships are due in Durban in week commencing 24 May. (Photo: www.africaports.co.za )
No less than five Carnival Cruise ships are due to arrive in Durban between 26 and 28 May to take on bunkers and to restock depleted supplies.
These five ships are part of a group of 12 engaged in the humanitarian task of repatriating over 26,000 crew from the Carnival fleet and other companies, as well as personnel from entertainment centres ashore, who because of the coronavirus pandemic, have had their employment suddenly curtailed.
Hotel staff and entertainers
These are the entertainment staff, the onboard shop workers, beauty salon practitioners, waiters and bus boys, chefs and kitchen staff, cabin cleaners, pursers and front desk people all making up the staff working on board cruise ships.
With cruising curtailed these former employees are finally returning home to destinations like India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines after having remained on board their ships for more than two months, unable to go ashore or receive visitors ever since cruising operations were suspended in mid -March. Ahead they face another three or four weeks at sea before being allowed to disembark. However, there’s something of a problem.
Call to governments
IFSMA* calls upon Governments to adopt the ‘Framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic’ without delay to allow ship owners and management companies to change over their dangerously tired crews.
Governments must act now in order to avoid personal injury to, and mental breakdown of, seafarers and avoid the significant risk of accidents and consequential danger to life and the environment.
Concern at IFSMA
IFSMA is receiving an increasing number of reports from its ship masters’ associations around the world concerned for the welfare and safety of crews and the increased risk with which they are operating in an already high risk environment. Seafarers are feeling let down and abandoned by their Governments.
Following concerns from the maritime industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a circular to all Member States, the UN and agencies and IGOs and NGOs in consultative status with IMO. This document concerned recommendations to Member States about measures to facilitate ship crew changes in seaports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IMO Secretary General has received a framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic, proposed by a cross-section of global industry associations in consultative status with the IMO, for example: ICS, IAPH, BIMCO, IFSMA, and P&I Clubs as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).