Samoan seafarers prepare for new work at sea
Eighty sons of Samoa will soon be flying out to take up new work at sea in Brazil with the Mediterranean Shipping Company (M.S.C.).
The sailors from Samoa will be an addition to the more than 300 citizens who are already employed on various ships in the M.S.C.’s fleet.
The list of the 80 individuals who will be deployed is yet to be finalised.
Speaking on Thursday with a group of sailors currently on island, the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, encouraged those who are chosen to make the most of the opportunity.
“Go with purpose and use the opportunity wisely to seek a better future for your families,” he said.
“We should also continue to seek out ways to enhance the skill and knowledge of our sailors to ensure the standard of Samoan sailors continues to increase, making working opportunities more accessible."
Contained within the sailors’ contracts is a clause that prevents them from criticising Samoa Shipping Services and the Government on social media in the event that they encounter adverse circumstances at work.
Earlier this year, a sailor on the M.S.C. Armonia, Pao Taulapapa, said he and other colleagues desperately needed help from the Government while sailors of other nationalities had been repatriated.
The ship was docked in the Bahamas but many sailors were without jobs, money or the ability to connect to their families, the sailor said.
That ship remains in the Caribbean, according to the latest available data.
But Tuilaepa said the new additional 80 opportunities for the seafarers was a great opportunity to provide support to their families amidst the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.
Tuilaepa said the most important quality for sailors to display was honesty while deployed at sea.
He encouraged the men to stay close to God, where they are most likely to stay honest and act accordingly. Tuilaepa made reference to scripture from the Book of Luke: "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones."
Tuilaepa warned against using alcohol and drugs, which has, in the past, led to the termination of some seafarers’ contracts.
Tuilaepa also revealed that the 80 men will not be travelling as a whole group, but will be deployed in teams and according to flight restrictions.
Also outlined in the contract which will be signed by the 80 seafarers is the agreement that the sailor is made aware that it is possible they could potentially be left overseas for two to three years due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Another clause is that an individual’s working hours and income could be affected adversely in the event of the pandemic continuing.