Day of the Seafarer - Stena Bulk’s celebrates crews at sea
June 2021

Today, it is an extremely important day for Stena Bulk and for the wider shipping industry. On 25 June, like every year, we celebrate the IMO’s Day of the Seafarer. This year, as with 2020, it seems more relevant and important than ever.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and through to today, we have unfortunately seen hundreds of thousands of seafarers worldwide working aboard ships well beyond the expiry of their initial contracts. Many of them currently remain stranded at sea, unable to return to their homes, friends and families. New variants of the virus and changing quarantine legislation around the world only worsen this dramatic situation, which continues to have serious consequences on the physical and mental wellbeing of seafarers. 

As one of the world’s leading tanker shipping companies and as proud members of the maritime community, of which seafarers are at the very heart, we want to take the opportunity presented by the Day of the Seafarer to celebrate the key workers of the sea, and raise awareness of the crucial role that they play in underpinning the world economy and global trade. At Stena Bulk, our highest priority is to protect the health and safety of our crew, and we want to show nothing but admiration and appreciation for all our colleagues on board. To us, they are the unsung heroes of this crisis, and they have kept the world moving during the most difficult of times. 

Earlier this year, we became signatories for the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change because we understand that crew wellbeing and crew change are crucial topics for the shipping community to discuss and address. Through a firm commitment to our workers at sea and efficient collaboration with our industry partners and friends, shipping will become more resilient and responsive to the chanllenges facing our seafarers and will be better equipped to protect them against any threats to their physical and mental health.

In fact, a big part of the innovation work that our technical teams undertake focuses on finding ways to improve crew wellbeing while they are onboard. Our proposed InfinityMAX design concept, for example, aims to create a more sustainable working environment for seafarers. As a result, it has the potential to change the role of onboard crew, with less hard labour and more focus on monitoring and interaction with operators ashore.

Lastly, I also wanted to take a moment to remember the anniversary of a very challenging event for Stena Bulk that we do not forget. Two years ago, on 18 July 2019, our vessel Stena Impero was seized and the safety of our crew on board became compromised in the most dramatic of circumstances. We continue to work to prevent events like this from ever happening again, and to ensure that we have the appropriate safety protocols in place to minimise the stress upon our crews in the case that they happen.

I want to thank every seafarer in every corner of the world and wish our workers at sea a very happy Day of the Seafarer.

Gothenburg, June 25, 2021
Erik Hånell, President & CEO at Stena Bulk