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Nautilus on Roll of Honour for UK Merchant Navy Day flag raiser

17 August 2020

Nautilus International and the Nautilus Welfare Fund are on the 'Roll of Honour' for the UK Merchant Navy Day's annual Red Ensign flag-raising event which pays tribute to seafarers.

The Union and its charity will fly the Red Duster during the day at its headquarters in London and at the Nautilus Welfare Fund's Mariners' Park Estate for retired seafarers and their dependants. Veterans and other residents will gather for a socially distanced flag raising ceremony at the park's Memorial Stone. 

Last year the UK Merchant Navy's official flag was flown at more than one thousand locations ashore, including by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at No. 10 Downing Street.

With few public flag-hoisting ceremonies being organised this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Seafarers UK is asking local authorities, councils, businesses and organisations with flagpoles at their premises to fly a Red Ensign on 3 September.

All participants who register online will be added to the charity's 'Roll of Honour' and sent a 'Commemorative Certificate' for public display.

Seafarers UK has released £2 million for grants to 'frontline' charities that are supporting seafarers in need and their families. The grant making organisation recently gave £110,000 to the Nautilus Welfare Fund to support it during the pandemic.

The symbolic act of flying a Red Ensign ashore provides a timely opportunity to raise public awareness of the UK's ongoing dependence on all merchant seafarer keyworkers.

Seafarers have been working hard to keep the UK supplied with food, fuel, medicines and other essential goods. But despite being recognised by some governments, including the UK, as 'keyworkers', seafarers are still being prevented from crew changes in many ports on global trade routes.

Hundreds of thousands of seafarers have been compelled to continue working long after their contracts end, as replacement crews are unable to join their ships.

Unions and charities warn the impacts on 'stranded' seafarers are inevitable such as ill health, anxiety, and poverty and many officers are at risk of criminalisation from fatigue-induced incidents.

• view the guide to the Seafarers UK's campaign  


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