On Thursday, October 13, 2011, 140 individuals from the maritime community gathered at the Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) Center for Maritime Education in Houston, TX for the Institute’s annual Maritime Training Benefit Luncheon. The luncheon raised close to $80,000 to support continuing maritime education programs at the Institute’s training centers in Paducah, KY and Houston, TX.
SCI’s Houston Center opened in 2001. In 2010, Houston instructors trained 429 mariners from 14 different companies. The Center instructs maritime professionals in bridge resource management, routine and hazardous navigation, emergency safety drills and situational awareness using recently upgraded, state-of-the-art computer simulators.
Many of the maritime industry companies who work with SCI to train at the Houston Center attended the benefit luncheon. Partners at the event included representatives from the petro-chemical transportation industry, barge companies, maritime insurance, maritime simulation industry, pilot associations, classification societies, and bunker companies. Kirby Corporation, a major tank barge operator in the United States, sponsored the luncheon. Its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph H. Pyne, chaired the event.
The Rev. David M. Rider, SCI’s President & Executive Director, offered this year’s keynote address. Rider presented a talk entitled “Caring for Seafarers Affected by Piracy” based on developments in SCI’s clinical study of the effects of piracy on seafarers. A revised version of the study’s Guidelines (ver. 3.0) addresses medical confidentiality for seafarer treatment, including the need to separate clinical privacy from examinations of fitness for duty. The newly published Guidelines also anticipate significant cross-cultural issues regarding access to—and trust of—medical professionals, along with the challenges of follow-up treatment when the seafarer is repatriated home.