Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) Aberdeen port chaplain Doug Duncan was returning from a ship visit recently when he received a phone call to say a seafarer had died on board a Norwegian platform supply vessel.
The caller was Astrid – the wife of the Norwegian Seamen’s Church chaplain in Aberdeen – who mentioned that 10 of the 14 remaining crew members were Filipino, and hence they may want to speak to someone from AoS.
Doug arranged to go on board the vessel and held a service for the deceased seafarer. The service was attended by all the Filipino crew. After that Doug blessed the ship’s cabins, gym, mess room and working areas.
The Seafarers Centre stayed open for the day so it could be used by the seafarers, ship’s agent, shipping company and chartering company and Doug was available for the seafarers to meet with.
A seafarer’s death can often have a huge effect on the emotional and psychological wellbeing of their fellow crew members, especially if the crew are close-knit and get along as a family at sea.
Unlike shore-based workplaces, seafarers don’t normally get time-off for bereavement or the necessary support, and this is where AoS port chaplains like Doug are able to fill such gaps.
The ship sailed off early the next day and it was back to work as normal for the crew.
For more information about the Apostleship of the Sea or to make a donation visit: www.apostleshipofthesea.org.uk