Monday, February 4, 2019

Problems of Seafarers Can be Relieved by Assistance in Ports Worldwide

Global Directory of Help Available Published
Shipping News Feature
WORLDWIDE – The problems which can affect members of a ship's crew at sea can be manifold. Mental health issues can spring unbidden from a multitude of sources; loneliness, concerns over a family's welfare etc. No matter one's religious beliefs, if any, sometimes what's needed is help, advice or simply a conversation with a willing listener in a foreign port. Although the advent of the internet has meant contact with family is much more readily available, sometimes this can be a negative factor when a message brings unwanted news, leaving the seafarer feeling impotent, with no apparent way to assist or deal with the situation.

Now the seafarers’ charity, Stella Maris-Apostleship of the Sea (AoS), has launched a new version of its global port chaplains’ directory which helps seafarers get access to pastoral, practical and emotional support wherever they are in the world. The Port Chaplain Directory 2019 lists phone numbers and email addresses of the charity’s 227 chaplains in 334 ports across 59 countries.

The Directory, which can be downloaded on line here, also highlights the ports in which Stella Maris Seafarers’ Centres are located; these centres provide a space where seafarers can go to relax, contact family, socialise, and speak to a chaplain away from the environment of their ships. AoS National Director Martin Foley observed:

“Even in our digital age, seafarers still value having a friend in port. As our recently-launched Life at Sea Report shows, face-to-face contact is unique and irreplaceable. We are able to provide pastoral, practical and emotional care to seafarers when tragedy strikes, acting as a dependable, trusted friend in times of crisis.”

Copies of the Directory have been sent out to AoS chaplains globally for distribution to seafarers and ships and the range of support offered by the charity includes counselling and befriending, welfare assistance, hospital visits, transport and providing means of communicating with family and friends. AoS Development Director John Green said:

“We have chaplains in most of the world’s ports. The Directory enables our network of chaplains to provide holistic care for seafarers in port after port worldwide and gives seafarers a tool to get quick and easy access to assistance and advice. Providing up to date and accurate details of all our chaplains is a valuable resource both for seafarers and stakeholders in the maritime industry such as P&I clubs, shipping agents and port officials,”

Photo: AoS Immingham Port Chaplain Bryony Watson aboard with a seafarer.