Seafarers receive the gift of flexibility

Seafarers receive the gift of flexibility

  • Corporate
  • Community
  • Published: 24 June 2024

Seafarers in Esperance and Bunbury will now have more freedom to explore everything that the local area has to offer while on shore leave thanks to new bikes donated by Southern Ports to the Mission to Seafarers.

Previously reliant on being driven around town by Mission to Seafarer volunteers, the new bikes, along with helmets and locks, give visiting seafarers access to a wider range of activities to better enjoy their time while onshore.

Southern Ports Chief Executive Officer Keith Wilks said an increase in trade over previous years has meant more vessels and more seafarers are visiting our regions.

“Seafarers are a vital part of the international supply chain, assisting to move cargo around the globe as part of one of the oldest industries,” said Mr Wilks.

“Last year alone we welcomed more than 18,000 international seafarers into our three ports, many of those who have heard just how special our regions are.”

“We’re proud to continue our support for our local seafarer support services who provide opportunities for respite to our visitors.”

The invaluable contributions of the more than 1.89 million seafarers globally will be celebrated on Tuesday (25 June) during the annual International Day of the Seafarer.

Ships are responsible for the transport of more than 80 per cent of international trade annually and are reliant on their seafarer crews, who often spend nine months of a year at sea.

Chair and Chaplain of Bunbury Mission to Seafarers, Very Reverend Darryl Cotton said the group is grateful to Southern Ports for its ongoing support.

“The little creature comforts we provide to seafarers when they visit our ports can really lift their spirits,” said Reverend Cotton.

“If they’ve been at sea for months, getting to ride a bike to do some of your own shopping or just to see the sites during their short time ashore has a substantial benefit on a seafarer’s mental wellbeing. It has been so great to able to offer our visitors something new to get out and do in Bunbury.”

Southern Ports Regional Manager – Bunbury Lee Smith, Bunbury Mission to Seafarers Very Reverend Darryl Cotton and Southern Ports Harbour Master Bunbury Les Turner with new bikes.

Southern Ports Regional Manager – Bunbury Lee Smith, Bunbury Mission to Seafarers Very Reverend Darryl Cotton and Southern Ports Harbour Master Bunbury Les Turner with new bikes.

Esperance Mission to Seafarers Volunteer Fred Lochowicz said the new initiative has already been extremely popular.

“Seafarers have already been making use of the new bikes to take in our beautiful coastline, explore the local shops and visit local attractions,” said Mr Lochowicz.

Esperance Mission to Seafarers Manager Fred Lochowicz and Southern Ports Regional Manager – Esperance Scott Bates show off the new bikes.

Esperance Mission to Seafarers Manager Fred Lochowicz and Southern Ports Regional Manager – Esperance Scott Bates show off the new bikes.

The bikes are the latest instalment of support for seafarers by Southern Ports who has already set up free wifi for visiting seafarers within its ports and provided buses to transport the seafarers from the visiting ships.

To find out more about what’s on offer for seafarers when they visit our shores or to volunteer your time to support visiting seafarers visit mts.org.au.

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