AS the shipping community gathered in London recently, for the London International Shipping Week, seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea has stressed that crew welfare must remain a top priority for the industry.
Newly-appointed port chaplain for Thames and Tilbury Wojciech Holub believes the work of the organisation, which includes ship visits and practical support for seafarers, is more important than ever as shipping becomes more globalised and automated.
“Sadly, some crew still have not got internet access on board their vessels and don’t have the time to get ashore because of the short port stay, so this is where we come in to provide practical help and advice.”
“I bring along things such as telephone cards with me when I go onboard but often all that the crew are looking for is a friendly face and someone who has the time to listen to them.”
“It can be hard work but I find it rewarding and it keeps me busy,” says Wojciech, who comes from Gdansk, Poland.
The Apostleship of the Sea is a supporting charity of the London International Shipping Week. Its 14 chaplains work regionally to cover all major ports within the UK. It also provides cover for smaller ports when the need arises.
Last year, the organisation visited 10,032 ships and assisted 203,640 seafarers in the UK. The Apostleship of the Sea undertakes the majority of ship welfare visiting in the UK and is also present in nearly 300 ports around the world. For more details about the work of the organisation, visit www.apostleshipofthesea.org.uk