Date: 30^th August, 2004
The deadline for the Introduction of the International Ship and Port Security Code passed last (July) month without the predicted problems of mass detention of ships and disruption of seaports activities.
But, the Code is creating problems for seafarers – particularly in the United States.
As enhanced security will be achieved by cooperation not by confrontation we call upon world maritime authorities to ensure that seafarers get the hard-earned rest that they enjoy from stepping ashore – sometimes after weeks confined on board ships at sea.
While we support the improvement of security at sea and in ports we wish to remind governments especially the United Sates that security will be best achieved by working together, but not by treating visiting seafarers as potential terrorists.
We understand the very legitimate security concerns of the U. S. A, but we beg to explain to the many legislators there who are evaluating this issues with sympathy and understanding that it is in that nation’s best interest to welcome seafarers and back them in their new responsibilities.
Shore leave is essential for the physical and mental health of seafarers and for both maritime safety and the protection of the marine
The ISPS recognizes seafarers’ unique role in combating terror.
The ISPS also codifies seafarers’ fundamental rights to Shore Leave. Port states and terminal operators should recognize that security is enhanced when seafarers are perceived as responsible, caring neighbours rather than as suspects in there shared maritime community.
Seafarers’ vigilance in noticing and reporting suspicious activities will undoubtedly save lives, as well as enhance a spirit of co-operation between seafarers and port security
Seafarers Assistance Program
P.O. Box 92273
Cell:00254 721 393458
Fax: 00254 41 230001