Sailors’ Society SA has stepped up its virtual support which the organisation has been offering since the lockdown situation.

We are familiar with various methods of distance communication such as Skype, Zoom and the use of mobile phones for meetings and for communicating with family and friends who live in foreign countries. Virtual Contact has been with us for a long time, but never before has it been as valuable as it is now, especially to communicate with the thousands of seafarers, stranded on vessels and unable to enter so many ports of the world.

Crisis Response Network

Port, ship, hospital and Mission visits remain under the current Covid19 “Lockdown” conditions and wherever possible, telephonic or Skype communications are used [see last month’s report]. Jessie John, one of our volunteers, has done sterling work with seafarers airlifted by the NSRI in the Entabeni Hospital.

Chaplains from the Crisis Response Network of the Society have ongoing contact with seafarers/crew on board vessels using Skype, telephone and social media to provide advice, support and arrange practical help for crews. The Society is in constant contact with shipping agents regarding possible steps to take in the situation and also liaise with Wellness at Sea organisations. The Society shares mental health advice for seafarers concerned about the impact of the virus on their health and livelihoods.

Whatsapp Daily Devotions

Rev van Schalkwyk is preparing daily devotions for the Africa, Mozambique and Brazil chaplains and Sunday Sermons which go out weekly on the World Wide Web to both seafarers and Cruise Line crews. A friendly voice with an encouraging message and advice is valuable.

Covid 19 column – Website

A special corona virus section of the Sailors’ Society website can be accessed here, with health information, advice for seafarers on how to manage their mental health in light of the pandemic. Information is also available on our website.

Zoom prayer meetings

Zoom prayer meetings continue with Chaplains round the world, to pray for the COVID19 situation and its ramifications for seamen who were unable to leave their ships.

Ship visits

Chaplains have been authorised to carry out ‘necessary’ visits from 22 June.