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What we do

Supporting Seafarers

For over 170 years, we have provided a lifeline to men and women, from all nations, who work at sea. Our chaplains, with your support, offer compassion, friendship and support for their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

If you or a loved one have ever had to isolate or remain housebound, you’ll know the feeling of disconnection that seafarers feel on a much bigger scale. With quick turnarounds at port, they rarely have the opportunity to leave their ship and get on dry land.

Over the years, our chaplains and volunteer ship visitors have boarded thousands of ships when they arrive in port and have connected with tens of thousands of crew, both male and female.

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Do you know?

100 nationalities on a cruise ship and 10 on a bulk carrier or tanker.

Nine months. They work long hours and have little time allowed ashore before setting sail again.

Storms, piracy, loneliness, isolation, injury and little or no time off the ship add to the mental and physical strain.

132 pirate attacks took place and a further 58 in the first six months of 2022.

None. Some seafarers can earn less than $1,000 per month working long hours with no days off.

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Physical Needs

Physical needs are met by supplying:
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Emotional Needs

Emotional needs are met by:
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Spiritual Needs

Spiritual needs are met by:
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Practical Needs

Practical needs are met through:
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Family Support

Life can be lonely and isolated for seafarers as weeks and months pass by. Worry and concern about family life back home brings with it homesickness, anxiety and stress. It’s no surprise that seafarers are so grateful when we go on board with a supply of SIM cards to purchase, or with our MI-Fi for calls to be made to family.

Anxiety can also mount up if money cannot be timely transferred back home to pay the bills or towards the construction of a promised new house.

The following facts should underline for you what this time in the life of a seafarer can be like and how your prayer and support can make a difference.

  • By the time a seafarer’s son or daughter becomes a teenager they may have been at home with them for only 3-4 years in total.
  • When home for up to 3 months the seafarer often has to undertake job-related appointments and training courses which can drastically reduce time they can spend with their family.
  • The wife has to assume the role of both mother, father and leader. Apart from possibly feeling like a stranger to the children, a seafarer will often have lost their role in helping to lead their family. This can regularly lead to conflict.
  • The younger children may view their father as a type of Santa figure, often bringing home lots of expensive gifts to compensate for their lengthy time away but find it difficult to lovingly bond, respect and appreciate him.
  • An unfortunate reality of loneliness and separation is that there can be greater temptation for unfaithfulness, both at home and at sea.