The Mission to Seafarers has centers all over the world are run by ordained and lay port chaplains offering professional welfare services for seafarers. 

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Photo by Yuanpei Hua on Unsplash

With over 90% of the world economy depending on the transport services of our seafarers, the maritime industry has been able to create jobs for around 1.5 million maritime professionals. And for some organizations all over the world, their main concern is to look after the welfare of each and every sailor they could get in touch with.

The Mission to Seafarers is an organization that dates back to 1856, inspired by the efforts of Reverend John Ashley to provide support to the spiritual and emotional needs of maritime professionals at sea. It was originally named as “The Mission to Seamen” but was later changed to its current name in 2010 to break gender roles and discrimination. Their centers all over the world are run by ordained and lay port chaplains offering professional welfare services for seafarers. 

WHAT ISSUES DO THEY CARE ABOUT?

  • Abandonment – failure of the shipowner to pay the seafarer’s contractual wages for a period of two months, cover the cost of his repatriation, give him support and maintenance, or otherwise unilaterally sever ties with him
  • Fatigue – mental or physical degradation resulting from extreme tiredness
  • Piracy – acts of violence and depredation on the high seas
  • Shipwreck – a maritime accident resulting to destruction or sinking of a ship
  • Communication – the exchange of information between seafarers and their families or shipping companies
  • Mental health – the state of the psychological and emotional well-being of maritime professionals at sea

WHAT SERVICES DO THEY OFFER?

The Mission to Seafarers does a lot of efforts to live up to its noble mission which is to care for seafarers. In 2018, they have been able to meet 550,000 sailors on board. Transportation were provided to 327,000 of them. Moreover, they have worked with 2,400 cases involving issues on welfare, medical needs of, and justice for our seafarers.

Along with those efforts, the organization also provides the following:

  • Ship Visits
  • Christian Services
  • Christian Materials
  • WiFi services, mobile data top-ups, landlines, laptops and broadband access
  • Expert psychological counselling on depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome among others for seafarers and ship incident survivors
  • Emergency assistance for abandoned seafarers in partnership with shipping companies, flag states, and the International Transport Workers’ Federation
  • Awareness campaign on piracy attacks and retime violence in support with the Maritime Piracy Human Response Programme
  • Assistance and care for families left behind by victims of shipwrecks

WHERE CAN WE FIND THEM AND HOW DO WE AVAIL THEIR SERVICES?

The Mission to Seafarers are present in around 200 ports all across 50 countries. Their services are available 365 days a year.

If you have needs or issues that you want to address, you may contact a chaplain. For more information about their specific locations, click here.

True enough, it is a challenging world for seafarers out there but we are thankful for efforts put up by organizations like The Mission to Seafarers to provide unwavering care for their welfare at sea and that of their families ashore.

Elijah Jose Barrios

Elijah Jose Barrios is a 24-year old Third Officer, Teacher, and Course Developer. He advocates for child literacy and youth empowerment through his involvement in different organizations.  He considers himself an appreciator of any form of art and usually puts all his realizations into writing.