News

Seafarer badly injured

11th May 2016

A seafarer who sustained serious injuries at sea and had to be taken to hospital in Hull has been supported by Apostleship of the Sea (AoS). 
              The 22 year-old Indian seafarer was knocked over by an eight-metre wave at sea as he went to assist a colleague who had gone on deck to secure a piece of equipment. 
              The incident left the seafarer with a damaged spine and serious injuries to his left shoulder and arm. His ship was able to sail to Immingham port where the seafarer was seen by a doctor.
              A quick examination showed that the seafarer was very fortunate not to have been paralysed and admission to hospital in Grimsby was followed by transfer to the Regional Neurosurgical Centre at Hull Royal Infirmary. 
              AoS Hull ship visitor Keith Rodgers visited him in hospital almost every day and sometimes twice a day.
              “I was able to put into action our local ‘emergency plan’ established by our port chaplain Anne McLaren.  We gave the seafarer a mobile phone so he could contact his parents who initially had no real knowledge of what had happened to their son,” Keith said. 
              “Later I was able to organise internet access which allowed him to be in touch with his employing shipping company as well,” Keith added. 
Keith Rodgers with the seafarer in hospital
              Keith said the seafarer received the very best care that the NHS has to offer but when he saw him for the first time, the seafarer was lying flat on his back in a cubicle, staring at the ceiling and in a desperate state  - not knowing if he would ever go to sea again to continue his chosen career. 
              “By the time he left hospital he could walk unaided although he was in a spinal brace and had a splint on his left wrist. He was, needless to say, in much better spirits,” he said. 
              Keith added, “During many hours together we were able to talk about the young man’s hopes and aspirations and I would like to think that I helped to encourage him in his positive outlook.” 
              Keith said in this case, the shipping company did what they could to help the seafarer - they eventually arranged repatriation to India by Business Class in view of the injuries – and the local agent was very good also.
              “However the Apostleship of the Sea was able to give some personal and local care to this seafarer which other professional bodies cannot do,” he added. 
              The seafarer is now back home in India and hopes to make a full recovery. Keith keeps in contact with him via email and has promised to meet him if he ever docks at Immingham in the future.