As the Covid lockdown came into effect we were given access to the SEASPAN fleet and started contacting and coming alongside the men and women on board via Skype conversations. This started on the 28th March with our chaplains in Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth participating in this new way of presenting such a ‘ministry of presence’ world wide – we have now extended this by sending out daily messages of encouragement and hope by WhatsApp and full Sunday church services on YouTube. We are also very grateful to our South African Port Authorities for authorising ‘Gangway’ visits from our Chaplains to vessels in accessible areas in the Ports of Durban, Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth. We’ve had a very positive response from the seafarers.
Rev Boet van Schalywyk ISSSA Principal Chaplain
International maritime welfare charity Sailors’ Society is providing free mental health and wellbeing support to crew on board more than 1,000 ships through its Wellness at Sea Awareness Campaign.
Based on Sailors’ Society’s award-winning Wellness at Sea programme, the unique approach was developed in response to the current COVID-19 crisis and aims to spread awareness and provide practical support to help seafarers through these challenging times.
Among the companies who have chosen to partner with Sailors’ Society on the Wellness at Sea Awareness Campaign are Seaspan, Fleet, SWIRE, Mayfair, Seaarland, Dynacom Tankers and Dorian LPG, with several other partnerships in the pipeline.