Today is Merchant Navy day, a day that recognises the brave men and women that kept Britain afloat during 2 world wars and acknowledges the dependence the UK has on modern day merchant seafarers for more than 90% of our imports. Across the country various public, government and other organisations show their support for the Merchant Navy by flying the Red Ensign, the official flag of the UK Merchant Navy, from their building flag polls.
This year with the Covid 19 pandemic and restrictions on travel many seafarers are unable to go home at the end of their contracts and have to stay onboard continuing to work to keep the world supplied. Many crew have been onboard months over their contract date and still are not sure when they will go home and get to see their families.
While the crew of the SS Explorer may not have been delivering goods they still played a part in the UK economy.
A number of our volunteers and members are also either ex or still serving members of the Merchant Navy.
For last years Merchant Navy day we were able to fly the red ensign in support of Seafarers and the Merchant Navy. Unfortunately this year we are restricted to flying the red ensign on our social media accounts.
One of the aims of the SS Explorer Preservation Society will be to increase awareness of the Merchant Navy by interesting people in the ship, her stories and the trades that are still available in the Merchant Navy today.