Steamship Authority to install sunscreen dispensers

Steamship Authority passengers will soon be able to slather on some sunscreen as they wait for a ferry.

The Steamship Authority (SSA) is teaming up with Impact Melanoma, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to working to reduce the incidence of melanoma, to install sunscreen dispensers at all SSA ports.

Look for the yellow Brightguard sunscreen (SPF 30) dispensers at all ports of entry: Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, Woods Hole, Hyannis, and Nantucket.

May is Melanoma Awareness Month, and staff at Impact Melanoma want visitors to the Islands to be conscious about protecting themselves from harmful UV rays.

Laurie Seavey, practice safe skin manager at Impact Melanoma, said she thinks having dispensers at ports near beach-loving coastal communities makes a lot of sense.

“The issue is that people need sunscreen. Sometimes people forget it, or they don’t know where to buy it, so we give them a convenient and free way to stay safe,” Seavey said.

According to Seavey, skin cancer rates continue to escalate, and the appropriate use of sunscreen can “significantly reduce the chance of skin cancer and melanoma.”

“And it saves you from getting a bad sunburn,” she added.

So far, 5,000 Brightguard automatic dispensers have been installed across the country, including one at the Chappy Beach Club.

Seavey said she hopes getting dispensers at the SSA will be just the start, and more publicly available units will be installed around the Island.

SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll said the ferry service is happy to be able to provide free skin protection to customers and staff.

“We are hoping to put dispensers in high-traffic areas, where people will be able to see them easily and access them whenever they need,” Driscoll said.