Written by Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, assistant commandant for prevention policy
Today is ‘National Maritime Day’ as declared by Congress on May 20, 1933. The specific date was based on the first successful transoceanic voyage under steam propulsion on the SS Savannah on May 22, 1819.
Since that first annual celebration of the professional mariner, National Maritime Day has evolved into a day that we honor the U.S. mariner and reflect on the impact they have on our great country.
The U.S. mariner makes a wide-reaching contribution to our economy. The U.S. mariner works on vessels ranging from commercial fishing vessels to cruise ships, from water taxis to offshore supply vessels, from towboats on the Western Rivers to container ships in global shipping. The mariner is critical to our economy with both domestic and international impact.
The Coast Guard is responsible for the safety and security of our ports and waterways. We do this with the cooperation and support of professional mariners across the country and around the world. Deck hands, pilots, masters and engineers, your diligence keeps our nation safe, your seaman’s eye is ever alert to risks. Your hard work powers the economy and strengthens our nation. Your professionalism and expertise ensure our ports and waterways remain safe, secure and environmentally sound.
Coast Guard regulations protect mariners as well as the marine transportation system as a whole. One forthcoming regulation – Seafarer’s Access – will help ensure that mariners can pass through marine terminals once they reach port for some much needed shore leave.
The U.S. mariner is the reason that we are a global leader in shipping safety; I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your service and commitment to professionalism.
Editor’s note: The National Maritime Center created an appreciation certificate for all credentialed mariners for dedicating their lives to the maritime industry and this great nation. You can download it here.
This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.