International maritime charity Sailors’ Society is supporting three hospitalised seafarers following the death of two of their crewmates in a tragic incident while reportedly cleaning the ship’s pipeline last week (July 17).
The cargo ship MV Ap Dubrava is in an emergency berth in the port of Vitoria for an investigation into the incident, after a reported poison gas leak while the ship was 160 miles off the coast of Brazil.
Sailors’ Society’s chaplain in Vitoria, Ailton De Souza, has been visiting the crew in hospital, offering them emotional support and acting as an interpreter for the men, who are struggling both with their physical health and the trauma of losing their friends.
One of the men told Ailton he was hospitalised after collapsing at the scene.
Ailton said: “The seafarer said that on seeing his colleagues dead he was in shock and started to feel a strong pain in his chest and dizziness.”
He provided the seafarer with a SIM card so that he could speak to his family.
“They sent plenty of messages to him as soon as they saw him online,” said Ailton.
“It was the first time he could speak with them since the accident happened. I could see tears come from his eyes while he was expressing his gratitude for the support we have given to him.”
Ailton has also visited the remaining crew onboard the ship and has taken them sight-seeing to take their minds off the trauma.
Ailton is one of Sailors’ Society’s chaplains who are specially trained to offer emergency crisis support to seafarers following trauma at sea.