Maritime workers commemorate Merchant Navy Day

 

Maritime Union General Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the Merchant Navy Day commemorates merchant seamen and their contribution especially during times of war.

He says that merchant seamen continue to serve in a potentially dangerous industry that a maritime trading nation like New Zealand depends on.

In 2010 the New Zealand Government announced that they would join Britain and other Commonwealth countries to commemorate those who served in the Merchant Navy in the Second World War.

The date chosen was 3 September as this observes the sinking of the first British merchant ship in 1939, just hours after the war was declared.

During the Second World War, 4,700 Allied merchant vessels were sunk and 30,000 merchant seamen on the Allied side lost their lives.

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