KOCHI: A two-day seminar on seafarers - ‘Surabhi 2019’ was held in Kochi. Organised by Singapore-based Synergy Group, leading ship managers and maritime technology company, the seminar discussed various aspects of the safety of seafarers including accidents, collisions, cyberattacks by hackers and even pirates.
The event was held at Hotel Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty on Thursday and Friday. Captain Katsuya Abe, president, Nissen Kaiun, Japan’s largest private ship owner attended the seminar. Similarly, there were senior representatives of Shell, Exxon, Class NK, Petronas, Mitsui, O.S.K Lines and BW Shipping, one of Europe’s leading shipping companies.
Captain Rajesh Unni, CEO and founder of Synergy Group, who is a native of Palakkad said the safety of seafarers is the priority. “We are determined to make the lives of those who take to the seas as safe as possible. These are the people who deliver our coal for electricity and fill our supermarkets with goods from around the world. We want them to know how proud and grateful we are. And we want to keep them safe.” He said.
Unni said the quality training and education of seafarers have to be improved as from as India is concerned. “Indians are second after the Philippines with 1.52 lakh seafarers in the industry. However, the education of seafarers is still decades old. A shipping company employing a fresh seafarer from India has to train him for 12 to 15 months. Most of the beginners from India are less trained about modern challenges and trends in the shipping world,” he said.
With a high number of suicides of people working in the shipping sector, Synergy has launched a project named iCall - a helpline aimed at reducing seafarer suicides and boosting general mental health and wellness for maritime personnel. iCall for seafarers is now available 24/7, free of charge to all maritime personnel - at sea and on land - in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Sindhi and Kutchi via phone, email and the chat-based nULTA App. Synergy also showcased SMARTShip, the patented digital shipping solution developed by Alpha Ori Technologies (AOT) which is now enjoying rapid uptake across the maritime sector.