A Taiwanese vessel, the Fuh No. 6 caught fire off the Madagascan coast and on 11 July the crew of 30 were rescued by two vessels, the SBI Antares and the Ever Diadem after the crew abandoned ship on two liferafts. They were brought to Durban.

Two crew members were airlifted by helicopter to a local hospital.  One suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns and the other a knee injury. The rest of the crew were taken to various hotels in Durban.

It was certainly a team effort by the Durban Port Chaplains – Paul Richardson and Jessie John from Sailors’ Society, Fr German Giraldo from the Apostleship of the Sea, John Appalasmy from Mission to Seamen and Rev Chris Viljoen representing the Christelike Seemans organisasie when they stepped in and provided clothing, toilet necessities and other items as the seafarers were rescued with just the clothes they were wearing.

Chaplains Paul Richardson and Jessie John visited the crew members in hospital and Paul also called at a hotel to visit crew members there, and met the Indonesian Ambassador.

Paul said “I could give him a briefing on what the chaplains had done and he was thankful for the work they did to help the seafarers. I also handed out much needed toiletries at the time.”

It is so gratifying to hear how chaplains just step in to help when seafarers are in trouble. They receive the news and take action – no one instructs them to do so.

Despite modern developments on ships, dangers still assail those who work on board vessels to carry out the vital transportation of goods across the seas of the world.

It is important that we honour this group of people, hence the holding of the Sea Sunday Service each year for seafarers and those working in ports.

The Durban Port Chaplains have organised the service on 23 July.


Date    23 July 2017 at 11h00.

Venue :  N Shed passenger terminal, Ocean Terminal, Port of Durban.

The service will be conducted by Rev Wimpie van Schoor from CSO and music will be provided by the SA Army band.

All are invited to attend this worthwhile service, sing well-kn.own hymns and afterwards join us for refreshments.

Let us not forget seafarers, they need our care and support and also give thanks to those who selflessly help in times of need