News

'Each day not sailing sapped their spirits'

26th June 2014
When the crew of the FB Glory set sail for southwest England in early June, they would probably never have predicted what was to about happen to them and their ship. 
                  When their vessel docked at Fowey, two of their number, the cook and a cadet apparently left the ship, claiming that they had not been paid their wages. Down to just six men, the vessel made its way to Plymouth but was subsequently detained by the authorities because of safety-related issues on board that had become a cause for concern. 
                  A week later, the ship was still stranded, anchored off the Plymouth coast, and the crew left to fend for themselves with whatever food and drink there was on board. Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) was able to provide some comfort and practical help to the crew, who were from Turkey, Syria and India.
                  
Ann Donnelly, AoS’ port chaplain in Plymouth said, “Whilst in port on June 4, our ship visitor Jayne O'Connor went on board to talk with the crew. They appeared relaxed but were worried about what would happen to the vessel.” 
                  Jayne gave them some newspapers and phone top up cards so they could contact their families back home. 
                  About a week later and with the FB Glory still detained, Jayne was able to go onboard to visit the men. She found them contented but anxious about what would happen to them the longer they had to wait. 
                  Jayne gave them more phone top-up cards, so they could keep their families updated, and left them chocolates, sweets and toiletries. 
AoS chaplains visit seafarers on board and provide support when needed

AoS chaplains visit seafarers on board and provide support when needed

                  Working together with the International Transport Workers Federation, AoS continued to monitor the situation, keeping a close eye on the men's welfare.  
                  “This was a stressful time for the crew and each day on board the vessel that was not sailing anywhere sapped their spirits,” said Ann. 
                  On July 13 this year Catholic churches in Great Britain will celebrate Sea Sunday – a day when we pray for seafarers and hold a special collection at Mass to raise funds to help them. This is your opportunity to show that you appreciate the work they do.
                  Seafarers are vital to the economy of Great Britain, they bring more than 90 percent of goods bought and sold on our high streets. 
Mostly, they enjoy decent work conditions and wages, but sometimes they are left vulnerable to exploitation and find themselves in situations like that of FB Glory. 
                  It is during times like these that AoS’ ministry matters most to those seafarers and they are thankful for any practical and pastoral support. 
                  So please give generously this Sea Sunday and help us continue our ministry supporting seafarers. Sea Sunday is AoS’ main fundraising and awareness raising event of the year.
                  But more importantly, help us celebrate this special day by praying for and thanking seafarers for the great work they do. 

                  For more information and to make a donation please visit www.apostleshipofthesea.org.uk/sea-sunday