Fifty-two seafarers from Samoa are off to see the world – and make money for their families.
But they are leaving with a warning. Stay away from alcohol.
Yesterday, the Samoa Shipping Services Ltd held a special ceremony to bid farewell to the men who have secured jobs on M.S.C. Cruise and Cargo ships.
Twenty-one will be working on the M.S.C. Cruise and the other 31 will be working on Cargo Ships. Twelve of them are new sailors. They will be away for a year.
In addressing them, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said the most common problem faced by Samoan sailors is alcohol.
“The most important thing that you have to know is to make sure you will not get into trouble and stay away from trouble,” he said.
“Ninety five percent of the problems is caused by alcohol and that is why in the past years many of the sailors have been sent home."
“You have to keep in your mind that the government does not give any second chances to anyone who has been sent home because of alcohol."
“The minute you get sent home because of alcohol keep in your mind you will never get another chance to have an opportunity such as this.”
Tuilaepa told them to always remember their families, churches, villages and especially their parents.
“You have to remember that you are carrying with you the Samoan flag and especially the image of every Samoan living here and around the world,” Tuilaepa said.
“You have the key to all the blessings for each and every one of your family."
“Be honest and faithful to your new calling and never forget to pray because that is where your strength comes from and especially your safety while you are on the sea."
“Listen to the people who were there before you as they know best. Always remember God in all that you do and wherever you may be because He is will keep you safe.”
Lastly he acknowledges the support of families and friends of the seafarers.
“To the parents and families of each and every one of these boys here thank you for your prayers,” he said. “Thank you for your patience while the government and the Samoa Shipping Services tried to find work for yours sons here."
“Keep them in your prayers as they depart for work and ensure that their families are blessed and have a better life.”
Peter Schmidt from the seafarers spoke on behalf of the 52 to thank everyone for their support.
“We want to thank the Govt. as well as the Samoa Shipping Services for the opportunities given to us to work and be able to provide for our families,” he said.
“We want to especially thank our parents and families for their never ending support."
“We will put in good use all the encouragements that you have provided for us today and we will always treasure it in our hearts."
“Keep us in your prayers always as we depart and leave our families to find a better future for them as well as us.”