Keeping the sea-lanes, free lanes

This article has photo gallery Published on ABML-C Steven Bruni (author), Department of Defence (photographer)

HMAS SYDNEY and HMAS BALLARAT come to the aid of merchant ships under attack by pirates.

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HMAS SYDNEY and HMAS BALLARAT come to the aid of merchant ships under attack by pirates.

Today is the International Maritime Organization's ‘Day of the Seafarer’ - and for an island nation, with seven maritime neighbours and more than 25 thousand kilometres of coastline, it's a chance to reflect.

Australians from all parts of the country may not realise how dependent they are on the sea for their way of life. 

Celebrated on 25 June, the global campaign is designed to acknowledge the services of the world’s 1.5 million seafarers and the unique conditions they work under; reflect on the role seafarers play in our global economy; and commit to improving seafarer safety and welfare.

This year’s theme, ‘At Sea For All’, has been set to emphasise that seafarers serve at sea not just for the shipping industry or for their own career purposes, but for the benefit of the world.

With 80 percent of the world’s goods shipped by sea, navies endeavour to protect and serve fellow mariners in achieving a safe journey from homeport to destination. 

Australia is particularly reliant on shipping, with a significant percentage of trade carried by sea. 

Representing a maritime nation, the Royal Australian Navy contributes to maritime safety through hydrographic services, mine sweeping, port services, contributions to fisheries patrols and border protection operations, counter-piracy and counter-terrorism operations and search and rescue.

Today, approximately 2,204 Royal Australian Navy personnel are at sea around the globe, helping keep the sea-lanes, free lanes!

To promote the important theme of ‘At Sea For All,’ the International Maritime Organization is asking seafarers, those in the maritime industry, and those who have benefited from the work of seafarers to get involved by using the hashtag #AtSeaForAll.