The great ministry by Apostleship of the Sea and practical support it provides seafarers has been highlighted in a news article in the Guardian. A story on its website shows how AoS stepped in to raise emergency funds for the crew of a stranded ship at Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex.
The case involves two crew members of the mv Independent who have been left in limbo after the shipping company they work for failed to settle a £32,000 fuel bill. The ship was arrested in January and the crew have not been paid since. While the rest of the crew have left the vessel, its captain Mikhail Polyakov and able seaman Igor Alenykov refuse to abandon ship.
AoS stepped in to provide practical help and pastoral care. Southampton and Shoreham chaplain Rev Roger Stone says the south coast team of volunteer ship visitors are doing great ministry supporting the crew of the arrested vessel. The shipping company also has a number of other ships in the fleet that have been arrested after it hit difficulties, including at Rye and in Santander, Spain.
At each of these ports chaplains and volunteers of the AoS have been providing practical help and support to the crew during what must be a very stressful time for them and their families. AoS provides both practical and spiritual support to seafarers in more than 250 ports around the world. This ranges from providing transport to shops to hospital visiting and mediating in disputes over pay and conditions.