Rev Van Schalkwyk received information from the Crewing Manager, Grindrod Maritime, that Mr Alfredo Apao the bosun on board the vessel MV ‘IVS Sentosa” had died resulting from an accident on board on 21 April when the vessel was just outside the port in Tokyo. He was approached enquiring whether he and his CRC team could provide grief counselling and debriefing for the officers and crew when the vessel berthed in the Port of Durban in May. The agents had contacted his family in the Philippines, and took good care of them.
On 19 May, Rev Van Schalkwyk and three of the CRC chaplains, Mrs Jessie John, Pastor Paul Richardson and Rev Thami Tembe boarded the ship and spoke to 22 crew members. Rev Van Schalkwyk held a committal service and Rev Tembe from the MTS offered Mass.’ [photo on the right]
It must be remembered that crews of ships live in close proximity for long periods with their ‘shipmates’ and when such a tragedy occurs, all feel it and the loss intimately. They cannot just ‘get off the ship’ to escape the pall of sadness which must prevail on board, and, perhaps in some cases, even fear.
Hence debriefing and grief counselling are so vital The Team felt privileged to have been able to help crew members through the shock and grief and next step of the grief process, thereby enabling them to cope.
The value and success of the team’s visit was aptly illustrated when one of the crew members said – ‘I now feel much lighter, more settled and relieved”.
Well done, CRC team, that’s what it is all about, lifting the load and giving hope and healing to our fellow men and women.