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Seafarers at Christmas – away from home

December for many people around the world means time for rest, relaxation and time spent with family. It means food and fun and festivities. Gift shopping, restaurant hopping, and road tripping. But think for a minute about the supply chain that makes all of those activities possible. Think about the fact that 90% of the world’s consumer goods are moved by ship. And then think about the seafarers whose job it is to ensure those goods gets safely from country to country.

They will most likely be at sea whilst you are enjoying the fruits of their labour.  At times, seafarers are at sea for ten months at a time, working long and laborious shifts in difficult condition for  small remuneration, with little of the daily comfort most of us enjoy.

It is also quite a lonely experience, with sometimes as little as 25 seafarers working on ships as long as 400m.

The other side of this experience is that of their families at home, who are without their son / father / husband / brother during this time.

Here is where the work of the many charitable seafarer organisations come in, those that actively support both the seafarer and their families at home. One such organisation is the Mission to Seafarers in the UK, presided over by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal. Such charitable offer the services of “port chaplains, ship visitors, seafarer centre staff and volunteers, as well as the donors and supporters whose generosity enable the mission to fulfil its goal of providing vital support to seafarers in need and delivering world-leading welfare services”. One can donate to such a charity via their website.Seafarers at Christmas

The Mission to Seafarers also offer some great ways for your to add to their festive cheer via their “Seafarers Delivering Christmas” campaign.

Another example is the Sailors Society: “Sailors’ Society is a charity, and we rely on fundraising to carry out our work with seafarers and their families. This appeal will not only help us to support seafarers this Christmas, but throughout the year.”

Most of these organisations receive strong support from the many large corporate giants of the shipping industry, and even many smaller ones. We urge all companies, large or small, to consider the role they could play in easing the lives of the seafarer at sea – undoubtedly one of the shipping industry’s most important assets.

The Port of Call Consultancy team wishes all seafarers who are away from their families at this time of year, a blessed Christmas. Thank you for your service.

Seafarers at Christmas

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