The Mission to Seafarers, hosted the annual Seafarers’ Awards, Singapore on Friday 6th November, for the first time in an online ceremony. The event celebrated the individuals and organisations that have made significant contributions to improving the welfare of seafarers and announced the winners of the awards.
Proceedings were opened by Capt Rob Walker, Chairman, The Mission to Seafarers Singapore, who spoke of the challenges of the industry this year and the need for welfare and support for seafarers and families, both at sea and on shore.
Announced by a range of respected industry figures, the winners of the five categories were as follows:
Seafarer’s Award – The seafarer who has made a significant contribution to welfare at sea (presented by Rashpal Bhatti, VP, Maritime & Supply Chain Excellence, BHP Billiton Marketing Asia Pte Ltd)
Winner: Capt. Jaswinder Singh, Fleetship
Highly Commended: Capt Vinod Kumar, ASP Ships Group
Nominated by Mandravanan Sathyanarayanan, Capt. Singh and his crew were recognised for their professional conduct and gallant deeds rendered at sea in the rescue of four people when they received a MAYDAY call which was followed by the ‘abandon ship’ call. The four survivors were taken onboard, looked after and transferred to the coastguard vessel the following day.
Shore-based Award – The shore-based person who has made a significant contribution to seafarers’ welfare(presented by Nick Potter, General Manager, Shipping & Maritime, Asia Pacific Middle East at Shell Trading)
Winner: Bjørn Højgaard, Anglo-Eastern Univan Group
Since the crew change crisis, Bjorn has actively addressed the issue of crew changes and seeked key worker status for seafarers, lobbying government and industry bodies while also pushing the message to the media, both in his capacity as HKSOA Chairman and CEO of one of the world’s largest ship managers. When many others were apprehensive about arranging crew relief due to the uncertainty of air and ground transportation, Bjorn persevered.
Innovation Award – For the company who has embraced a new programme, project or training which has enhanced seafarers’ welfare (presented by Capt Mike Meade – CEO M3Marine, Councillor of SSA and VP of Nautical Institute)
Winner: Thome Group
Highly Commended: North of England P&I Club
Thome Group launched an employee benefit program called TSM Privilege Card which aims to aid offshore and onshore staff with their quality of life. Thome has also been investing heavily in wellness initiatives across the fleet to ensure mental and physical health and wellbeing of its crew and their families including many initiatives.
Cadet Award – for the Cadet or Trainee who has made a significant contribution to seafarers’ welfare at sea or ashore (presented by Esben Poulsson, Chairman ICS, Vice President Mission to Seafarers)
Winner: Jarin Chowdhury, ASP Ships Group
Jarin Chowdhury is the first female cadet from Bangladesh on foreign flagged ships. She is an exceptional example of inspiration and achievement for the maritime community especially for female mariners. She motivates and mentors female seafarers in the country. Beyond her duties, she visits the Bangladesh Marine Academy and has been formally appointed as a mentor for junior cadets.
Secretary General Award – The person or company who has shown sustained efforts to improve seafarers’ welfare at sea or ashore (presented by Soon Kok, Chaplain Singapore)
Winner: Frank Coles, Wallem Group
Highly Commended: Elizabeth Bleynat, former Mission to Seafarers intern
As the impact of the pandemic reverberated through the shipping industry, Frank Coles has capitalised on his platform as Wallem CEO to advocate on behalf of seafarers, vigorously lobbying for industry regulators, trade bodies and national governments to deliver action rather than words as crew travel restrictions escalated into a human rights issue. He has participated in the intense liaisons with authorities that were required to organising repatriations at a time when rules on border crossings were changing regularly.
Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers, said:
“It has been a dramatic and unprecedented year for the maritime industry. We are all acutely aware of the significant challenges and difficulties that seafarers have faced. Thanks to all who provided nominations – the level and quality of applications was outstanding. We salute the heroism of seafarers and we salute too all those who have stood alongside them and advocated on their behalf in the midst of these dark times. We will also continue to argue for the universal recognition of our own maritime welfare frontline workers as a vital resource for seafarers.”
Captain Rob Walker, Chairman of MtS Singapore, added:
“This year has been one of significant challenge across the world and The Mission has adapted quickly to provide the variety of support needed all around the world during such a difficult time and under different regional restrictions. The support we have received from our regular partners and the generosity we have witnessed through extraordinary donations from corporate entities and individuals has been tremendous and thank everyone for their support of our mission but also of our seafarers.”
Thanks go to all our sponsors who made this event possible, particularly Wallem Group which contributed the glass awards presented to our winners.