Global maritime charity Stella Maris is reiterating the need to get back to basics in crew welfare provision ahead of World Maritime Day 2021 which carries the theme ‘Seafarers: At The Core of Shipping’s Future’.
As the world emerges from Covid-19, the charity is increasing its efforts to provide personal, human connection with seafarers via face-to-face ship visits in port.
“This year’s theme is an excellent reminder that seafarers really are at the heart of world trade and are frontline heroes. Despite the growth in digital welfare provision made necessary by the pandemic, the issues faced by seafarers still persist – abandonment, crew change difficulties, lack of shore leave, non-payment of wages and piracy,” Stella Maris Chief Executive Martin Foley said.
He added, “In our experience nothing can replace the face-to-face friendship and care provided by our chaplains and ship visitors. Because of this, seafarers know us, trust us and look for us in ports.”
Stella Maris is also building on its partnerships with ship managers, owners, P&I clubs and legal firms, all of which are vital in ensuring the right assistance is given to seafarers in a timely manner, and in times of crisis.
For the third successive year, Stella Maris’ international work to support seafarers in the UK and across the world is being sponsored by Britannia P&I Club on World Maritime Day.
During this period Stella Maris’ global network of chaplains and ship visitors have made thousands of routine visits to vessels, talking to tens of thousands of seafarers and providing them with MiFi (mobile WiFi) units, phone SIM cards, clothing, food and toiletries. The charity has been able to respond efficiently to requests for assistance from crew on board vessels as far and wide as Japan, Morocco, South Korea and USA.
“Stella Maris is hugely grateful for the significant and sustained support by Britannia which enables it to make a significant impact on the welfare and wellbeing of seafarers,” said the charity’s Head of Corporate Engagement and Partnerships Ian Stokes.
“Britannia is delighted to continue to support the vital work of Stella Maris to help seafarers in ports around the world. The past year or so has been especially challenging for seafarers and the support provided by charities like Stella Maris is more important than ever to support the welfare and wellbeing of crew,” Ella Hagell, Claims Director, Britannia P&I.