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Day of the Seafarer 2018



This year, once again, the annual Day of the Seafarer (DotS) will be celebrated on 25 June.

 2018 campaign - Seafarers wellbeing

​2017 and 2018 have seen strong momentum in the industry to address seafarer's wellbeing, particularly their mental health.

To give further exposure to this important issue, our choice for the 2018 Day of the Seafarer theme was "seafarers' wellbeing".

By addressing the issue of seafarers' wellbeing and particularly mental health, this campaign helped inform specific strategies to tackle stress and other issues affecting seafarers' mental conditions -  and make the tools available more widely known.

The campaign sought to highlight and showcase best practices and good examples but also, inevitably, brought out areas of concern and examples of shortcomings. 

 Official video message by the IMO Secretary-General

 Seafarer survey

​At the core of our 2018 campaign, we created an online survey to collect seafarers' feedback. We wanted to hear from you to make sure you knew what your rights were and if you felt those rights were being implemented into your operational reality. The survey's results will be fed back to the IMO Council to make sure Member States are aware of your comments.

 Photo competition

​In 2018, IMO and the International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) teamed up to give you the chance to showcase your photographic skills and win a GoPro Camera, iPad or both! The competition was sponsored by The North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA).

The winning entry is a bold geometric composition, focusing on the deck of a ship and the blue ocean beneath. The overall effect is one of immediate visual drama but with clear underlying references to the swirling rhythms and patterns of life at sea and the solid dignity of the seafarer’s labour. It was submitted by Zay Yar Lin, a Master from Myanmar, and can be seen here along with other shortlisted entries.

The second place goes to Hanbo, a third mate from China and there are five third placed photos. Fifteen further images are highly commended.  


 Social Media

As in previous years, the campaign was centred on social media. All IMO's social media platforms featured but Twitter and Facebook accounted for most activity.

The 2018 campaign had two hashtags, as follows:


This hashtag can be used by shipping companies and others within the industry, to show how they provide a decent working environment for seafarers and how they address mental health issues among their seagoing staff.


This hashtag can be used to engage the general public, to wish them a good day at sea.

We used the hashtag #GoodDayatSea to encourage seafarers to share photos of themselves in a positive work environment as part of our photo competition.

Completing the phrase #GoodDayatSea looks like…

In 2018, we also promoted good initiatives and material developed by various maritime stakeholders to advocate for higher standards of welfare as well as highlighted what they are doing to improve conditions for seafarers regarding issues related to seafarers' wellbeing, such as:

  • Shore leave
  • Abandonment
  • Mental health
  • Wages
  • No criminalization
  • Repatriation
  • Resources available to Positive Mental Health
  • MLC convention

 Film on Seafarers’ Mental Health and Wellbeing

​A new film produced by Videotel called Seafarers' Mental Health and Wellbeing was launched on the occasion of Day of the Seafarer. The free video provides useful signposts and gets you thinking about your own mental health. It equips seafarers with ideas and resources that could lead them to better mental health. 


​DotS was established in a resolution adopted by the 2010 Diplomatic Conference in Manila to adopt the revised STCW Convention. Its stated purpose is to recognize the unique contribution made by seafarers from all over the world to international seaborne trade, the world economy and civil society as a whole.

The resolution "encourages Governments, shipping organizations, companies, shipowners and all other parties concerned to duly and appropriately promote the Day of the Seafarer and take action to celebrate it meaningfully".

Day of the Seafarer is recognized by the United Nations as an observance day. 

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Day of the Seafarer proudly sponsored by 
the ITF Seafarers’ Trust