Fifteen seafarers found shipwrecked off the coast of the island of Reunion. They were holding on to a small inflated raft with nothing in it. They had been stranded at sea for 16 days. The seafarers’ association of Reunion, ‘Les amis des marins’, have offered hospitality and have cared for these seafarers ashore.

Lawrence Ignace, President of ‘Les amis des marins’, reported that the rescued seafarers were from Indonesia. They had been adrift from the 3rd to the 19 th of November 2012. They were saved by a cargo ship called ‘Saga Enterprise’ and then brought to land by the naval authorities. The State of Reunion asked the seafarers’ association to take care of the crew upon their arrival on the island.

Sailor’s Society Chaplain Lends a Hand

IGNACE said: “…An excellent job was done by our team under the guidance of Sailors’ Society Chaplain Alain Djeutang, our director and chaplain. We gave them food, shelter and clothes to wear for the three days in our center.”

He said that the welfare of these seafarers was the concern of the Association. It was the first time that they had handled a crisis of this magnitude. “We’ve done our level best to send the seamen safe and sound back home. We still have one in hospital and one in the center waiting for a passport. ”

These are the situations that our chaplains are expert at managing. As the Island of Reunion is part of the “Southern- and East African and Indian Ocean Islands Region” of ICMA, port chaplain Alain Djeutang had been trained to deal with these crises at ICMA’s regional conferences, the most recent of which was held in Cape Town in October of this year (left: a dapper Alain photographed in Cape Town) . Emergency response was part of the conference agenda. The conference was funded by the ITF Seafarers Trust. ICMA commends ‘Les amis des marins’ and especially port chaplain Alain Djeutang, for helping seafarers in distress. This is what we’re all about.