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Shipping hears about plight of abandoned seafarers

Members of the maritime community, including International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary General Kitack Lim, heard first-hand about the plight of a group of abandoned seafarers in Aberdeen and how seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) is supporting them.

The Indian crew from the Malaviya Seven offshore supply ship were last paid in July 2016 and are owed more than $650,000 in unpaid wages. The vessel was detained after routine checks revealed the seafarers had not been paid.

“The seafarers’ predicament not only affects them, it also affects their families back home who have food, living accommodation and other costs to pay,” AoS Aberdeen port chaplain Doug Duncan told a gathering at AoS’ reception on board the HQS Wellington in London on June 28th.

AoS Wellington reception
From left: AoS port chaplain Fr Colum Kelly, International Maritime Organization Secretary General Kitack Lim and AoS GB National Director Martin Foley.
Photo by: Maria Brosnan

The event was held to coincide with Seafarers UK’s annual Seafarers Awareness Week and IMO’s Day of the Seafarer.

Doug added, “Several of the men have school children and higher education fees to pay. This is one their main worries and stresses – how to support their families back home in India.”

Besides providing pastoral support to the crew, Doug also informed guests how AoS provided practical assistance, including supplying a generator to the vessel to ensure the men continued to get access to basic accommodation and living essentials

Doug also ensured their basic and medical needs were met, arranging urgent visits to the dentist and hospital, and for the men to get their hair cut.

Doug said, “It’s an anxious and stressful time for the crew but having someone from AoS they know and trust support them makes a difference. We’ve made them feel part of the wider local community during this difficult time.”

In Great Britain, AoS is present in over 50 ports, from Aberdeen to Fowey, with 17 port chaplains and hundreds of volunteer ship visitors.
Source: Apostleship of the Sea

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