Local shipowner and Captain, Lavinia Tetahe Tata.
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IN honor of the 2023 International Seafarers Day, local shipowner and captain, Lavinia Tetahe Tata is proud to recognize the essential role seafarers play to the Solomon Islands maritime trade and industry, in their contributions to the country’s economy.

The shipping entrepreneur, who serves as the first woman captain of Rennell and Bellona province and South Malaita, Malaita province has praised the local seafarers for their contribution to the national development of the country.

“The role of local seafarers is not easy, it requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice as they continue to play a crucial role in domestic trade, commerce, and the national economy.

“Their commitment to sustain their livelihood and forge economic and trade relations with people from other provinces within the country is greater since most of them have been spending even longer periods at sea, far from their loved ones,” said Lavinia at the International Seafarer’s day celebration event held on Monday at the Solomon Islands Ranadi Campus Maritime School, East Honiara.

Local shipowner and Captain, Lavinia Tetahe Tata (first from left) at the International Seafarers’ Day celebration event held on Monday at the Solomon Islands Ranadi Campus Maritime School, East Honiara.

She described seafaring as one of the oldest professions in the world yet it is important to this day.

“Over the years’, our seafarers have experienced the challenge and demand of their profession that requires a high degree of skill and expertise,” said Lavinia, who is also a member of the Solomon Islands Women in Maritime Association (SIWIMA).

She expressed: “As we celebrate the significant contributions of the Solomon Islands and worldwide to the maritime Industry. There is an opportunity for us to acknowledge the hard work and commitment to the industry.

“As one of the seafarers, I witness what they’ve been through as they face new challenges and continue to navigate the sea with skill, courage, and dedication.

“They are the backbone of the maritime industry transporting goods and resources that sustain communities in the Solomon Islands and around the world. They are the guidance of our ocean, ensuring that our waters remain safe and navigable you are the unsung heroes who keep our islands connected bridging distances and cultures through their hard work.

“I encourage every Solomon Islands to join me in expressing our gratitude to our seafarers. You are an important part of our society and the global community, and we celebrate and honor you on this day and beyond. We acknowledge your hard work and we thank you for the sacrifices you make while you are away from your family and friends.

“To seafarers, thank you so much for the incredible work you do every day. May you continue to sail the seas with passion and confidence,” she told SOLOMON WOMEN.

Lavinia has previously graduated from the School of Marine at the Solomon Islands National University and now works for her own company Sea-light Shipping Company which owns the Liberty III and MV Freedom.

As an inspiration to promote gender equality in the maritime industry, her experience and determination are a true and living testament for young girls and women who want to pursue their dreams in the country’s traditionally male-dominated maritime industry.

Likewise, she further added: “Seafarers are part of the supply chain towards our country’s economic growth.

“Local seafarers’ work is essential yet too often it goes unrecognized and undervalued. However, they need to know that their contributions are deeply appreciated by all of us on shore.

“Seafarers have also played an important role in protecting our oceans and marine life. As stewards of the sea, you recognize the importance of maintaining a clean and healthy marine environment that preserve and sustain our ocean for future generation,” she noted.

Lavinia also payed tribute all the seafarers who have sailed in their final journey, saying May God rest their souls.

“Let us not forget many seafarers who lost their lives while performing their duties. We pay tribute to them, they may be gone but their legacy lives in every vessel that sails the sea and in every heart that lives the ocean,” she said.

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