Stevenson embarks on this journey for professional reasons. He wants to learn from the experiences of mariners who routinely sail through pirate-infested waters. The Director of SCIâ€™s Center for Seafarersâ€™ Rights, the worldâ€™s only full-time, free legal aid program for merchant mariners, says that he also hopes to draw attention to the professional seafarers themselves and their work, which is vital to the worldâ€™s prosperity.
To collect data and give exposure to his expedition, Stevenson will make careful observations and share many of them in real-time using Twitter. (To keep an eye on Stevensonâ€™s journey, follow dbs5218.)
Observations will contribute to Stevensonâ€™s understanding of merchant marinersâ€™ perspectives and needs and add to a clinical study of piracy’s effects on merchant mariners and their families. This month SCI announced a multi-year study in conjunction with the Disaster Psychiatry Outreach at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. The first of its kind in the maritime industry, the study explores the clinical assessment and treatment of piracy attack survivors.
â€œSCI has a commitment to seafarersâ€™ well-being,â€ says Stevenson. â€œWe want to make sure that we understand what is happening to them so that we can offer them every support they need.â€
Stevenson departs on Friday for Port Said from which he will venture into the uncertain open seas. When asked whether he was afraid, Stevenson with poise responded, â€œI have great confidence in Maersk Idahoâ€™s security arrangements and in the competence of its crew.â€