The importance of the island’s maritime sector, as well as shipping safety and maritime security, will take the spotlight next week, when the Ministry of International Transport hosts an inaugural Maritime Week, under the theme: ???Sailing to Success’.

Organised to commemorate World Maritime Day on Thursday, September 24, the week will be observed from Sunday, September 19 to Saturday, September 26. It seeks to heighten public awareness of the sector, stimulate interest in available career opportunities and examine the impact of climate change on the maritime environment.

The activities will get under way on Sunday, September 20, with a 9:00 a.m. Church Service at the St. John the Baptist Church, Thorpes Corner, St. James. Minister of International Transport, George Hutson, will address the service.

On Monday, September 21, the Folkestone Museum and Visitor Centre in St. James will feature a special exhibition to highlight the effects of climate change on the marine environment, specifically its impact on coral reefs. A small entrance fee will be charged.

On Tuesday, September 22, The Barbados Port Inc. will host an Open Day from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. It will feature seven guided tours, the last of which will depart at 4:00 p.m.

On Wednesday, September 23, Arlington House Museum will also participate in the events, when it stages an open house from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Barbadians with Identification cards will be admitted free of charge, while the fee for non-nationals will be Bds $12.50.

World Maritime Day will be observed on Thursday, September 24, with a lecture and panel discussion on the topic: ???Climate Change and its Impact on the Maritime Environment’.

The lecture, which will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Barbados Yacht Club, will be delivered by Regional Maritime Advisor of the International Maritime Organisation, Colin Young. Panellists will be: Director, Coastal Zone Management Unit, Dr. Leo Brewster; Lecturer in Water Resources Management, Centre for Research Management and Environmental Studies , Dr. Adrian Cashman; Chief Technical Officer and Director of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of International Transport, Valarie Browne; and Fisheries Biologist, Fisheries Division, Christopher Parker.

Among the highlights of the week will be a Careers Showcase, which will get under way at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, September 25, at the Barbados Coast Guard, HMBS Pelican on Spring Garden. Minister of International Transport, George Hutson, will deliver the feature address to officially open the Careers Showcase, which is aimed at stimulating interest in a career in the maritime industry. Over 15 agencies, including two engaged in on-site recruitment, will be staging booths at the expo. Several of the island’s educational institutions, which provide training for this vital sector, will also be participating.

Students will receive some valuable insight into career excellence when Life Coach, Adrian Daisley, delivers a presentation on the topic: ???Career Excellence – The Dream’ at 11:30 a.m.

The curtain will come down on the week on Saturday, September 26, with the staging of a beach extravaganza dubbed ???A Maritime Fun Family Affair’ from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Bay Street Esplanade. In addition to several beach activities and games, the day will also feature performances by the Barbados Landship, displays by the Barbados Sea Cadets and a lifeguard rescue simulation.

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