Friday, June 19, 2020

Stranded Sailors Give Something Back for Children and Charities (and You Can Help)

Seafarers Give Virus Quarantine the Run Around
Shipping News Feature

EQUATORIAL GUINEA – Over the past weeks and months we have heard much of the fate of seafarers, many of whom have been trapped aboard their vessels by the coronavirus pandemic. As unions fight to ensure the way is cleared for repatriation an array of maritime charities have striven to support crews and families but some sailors have found their own way of giving something back.

Three men, Capt. Steve Tindale, Tommy Weir and James Pine, who all work for Swire Pacific Offshore (SPO), are currently confined to their rooms in Equatorial Guinea on a mandatory quarantine period prior to joining their ships, and suffering what are now the normal frustrations of such circumstances.

However, rather than being restricted by their environment, the three dreamed big and took on the challenge to raise funds to be split equally between international maritime welfare charities Sailors’ Society and Sailors’ Children’s Society plus Become, and their chosen challenge was – to run 200 miles in 10 days, all in just the small space of their hotel bedrooms!

The trio created ‘running tracks’ by pushing furniture to the edges of their rooms and ran an incredible 5,600 laps each to complete their challenge. Steve Tindale picks up the story:

“We were due to do a charity bike ride which was unfortunately cancelled because of the pandemic. We still wanted to do something, so came up with the idea of the run. Certainly a bit more difficult when you are confined to a hotel bedroom! Being seafarers we wanted to support Sailors’ Society and all they do to help crews through their wellness and mental health work.

”SPO has made Sailors’ Society’s Wellness at Sea programme available to us all and we’ve found it really helpful. It was tough, but the challenge got a little bit easier each day and we changed direction frequently to keep the dizziness down. We’ve kept each other’s spirits up with socially distanced meals between balconies, WhatsApp group chats, and a daily quarantine quiz.”

Both the Sailors’ Society and the Sailors’ Children’s Society will doubtless be known to readers working in the maritime industries whilst Become has a mission to assist young people who have grown up in care. Melanie Warman, Sailors’ Society’s Director of Advocacy, said:

“It’s wonderful that Steve, Tommy and James wanted to help their fellow seafarers. We are in absolute awe of them for doing this and honoured that Sailors’ Society has been chosen as one of the beneficiaries. “We’re providing support to seafarers and their families across the world, many of whom have been impacted by Covid-19 and are under huge mental strain. This contribution towards our vital work is very gratefully received.”

The full story, and the chance to contribute to the trio’s effort can be seen HERE.

Photo: Tommy Weir (L) and James Pine (R) flank Capt. Stephen Tindale.