Thursday, 23 June 2011

Paying Tribute to Seafarers - What would happen if every ship on our seas suddenly vanished?

It’s International Day of the Seafarer this week (Saturday 25 June) which aims to pay tribute to the world’s 1.5 million seafarers.

A survey carried out by Seafarers UK, the charity that supports seafarers and their families, today shows just how little we as a nation know about this industry.

The majority of respondents weren’t aware that Sunderland (80%), Glasgow (75%) or Belfast (50%) were even seaports. And yet one in five incorrectly named Calais as a British seaport.

Furthermore, when asked how far they live from the coast, a fifth of adults estimated they were 76 miles or more away from the sea, even though there is no part of Britain that is further than 70 miles from the coast. That’s possibly the reason why 80% of people have not been on the sea as a passenger on a ship or boat for over a year, with over a quarter saying they haven’t set sail for more than 10 years.

We also massively underestimated the dangers that fishermen face at work, with less than one in 10 adults correctly identifying it as the most dangerous career in the UK.

And we clearly aren’t passing on our maritime history to our children either with a quarter of children in the survey naming Captain Jack Sparrow as Britain’s most famous seaman.

To mark the campaign, a thought-provoking video has been commissioned by Seafarers UK. It paints the nightmare scenario of what would happen if every ship suddenly disappeared and highlights just how important seafarers are.

For more information visit

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