Boers Crew Services highlights importance of the journey of the maritime professional to mark Day of the Seafarer


A crewmate who has just completed his term as the IMO Goodwill Ambassador is shining a light on the importance of the whole journey of a seafarer – with the help of crew change specialist BCS Group – Boers Crew Services.

Yrhen Balinis (pictured), 25, is currently serving as Third Officer on a six-month voyage, and has been documenting his journey so far from when he left his home in February to travel to the vessel. Working with Boers, he will compile a video documenting his entire journey – highlighting the need for a seamless journey to and from the vessel.

With offices in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Manila, Boers can offer a global one-stop shop for everything required by a maritime professional when signing on or off their vessel, including visas, travel, transport, and accommodation.

Mr Balinis said: “I felt it was really important to get involved in this project for a number of reasons. Social media can sometimes be full of pristine photos, the hefty dollars, or the glistening sunsets. Our lives on ship are painted in rose-coloured glass, devoid of the harrowing realities onboard.

“Another driver for me is that, even as seafarers, we forget that there are other people who play vital roles before we even reach our vessels. Our visas do not magically appear in our files. Neither are our contracts and flight tickets ironed out in a breeze. The taxi or agent who picks us up at the airport does not arrive there by coincidence, someone must have instructed them. There are people in the backlines who are there to assist us, and the journey of a seafarer will not come full circle without their efforts. I felt it was important to document my journey in its entirety.”

Mr Balinis has recently completed his term in office as maritime Goodwill Ambassador for the IMO and is now inspired to use his platform to carry on lobbying for change within the industry to help other seafarers. He is also an Advisor for Human Rights at Sea and has recently helped to launched The Office of the Youth in Maritime in Manila. The initiative is aimed at empowering and encouraging the industry to make real change with the goal of attracting and retaining young talent in maritime.

Joint CEO of Boers, Peter Smit said: “We value the importance of making every effort to ensure the journey of a seafarer to and from the vessel is as seamless as possible. It is important for the care and wellbeing for them to begin as soon as they leave home. If they arrive to the ship happy, relaxed and excited for their voyage, then the culture of safety starts at the very beginning and continues throughout their voyage.

“We are happy to work with young and inspiring seafarers like Yrhen to shine the spotlight on the realities a seafarer goes through onboard, and everything that goes into getting them to and from their vessels. We look forward to seeing the final video after he returns home.”

You can follow Mr Balinis’ journey on Instagram at Yrhen Bernard Sabanal Balinis (@yrhen_bernard) • Instagram photos and videos