The MV YWAM PNG’s crew works hard to get volunteers ashore and to keep the ship running smoothly. But recently they had the opportunity to mentor other mariners.
As the ship’s dinghies launched for Katena in Finschhafen District, the ship’s second engineer had the opportunity to distribute boating safety booklets from Papua New Guinea’s National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) to local seafarers. The lifejackets were a gift to NMSA from the Centre for Maritime Safety, NSW Department of Transport.
The crew found a boat terminal near Katena that was bustling with local mariners. They handed out NMSA booklets and gave a short talk about safety practices, then came back with 40 life jackets for the mariners. It was the first time many of them had owned a life jacket.
The seafarers listened to the information intently. For many of them, safety at sea hits close to home; lives were lost following a capsized dinghy a few months ago.
Gary Smyth, a MV YWAM PNG officer said “It was great to see them take it up so willingly and happily”
Other crew members took more safety booklets to Buangi and other nearby villages. Ship engineer from Lae, Bradley Andreas, believes the booklets will prepare the local mariners for emergencies. “Unfortunately people here get lost at sea because the only transport from here to Lae is in dinghies, so this distribution is important.”
The crew have been leveraging opportunities to distribute booklets. When canoes surrounded the ship in Nawaeb District, Morobe Province, Bradley Andreas gathered them around for a safety talk and distributed more NMSA booklets and life jackets.
They plan to continue the education as the ship makes its way down Papua New Guinea’s coastline. “It’s little steps, but it’s all in the right direction,” said Smyth.