Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) is supporting an injured fisherman in Aberdeen whose thumb was severed while fishing.
The fisherman from the Philippines had to be airlifted to Aberdeen hospital for surgery after sustaining the injury while working in Shetland.
AoS’ Aberdeen port chaplain Doug Duncan received a telephone call from Roda Bird, a local contact, on February 17 informing him about the incident.
“I received further news about the accident from Fr Anil Gonsalves, the local parish priest in Shetland, and drove to the hospital to meet the fisherman who was still in shock but being well looked after.” Doug continued, “His thumb had been severed while fishing and although it had been reattached the hospital feared it would not take.”
Doug returned to the hospital the following day and provided the fisherman with clothing and phone cards so he could contact his family back home.
“He was scheduled to go in for further surgery so I stayed and prayed with him before he went in,” said Doug.
The fisherman is now settled at the Fishermen’s Mission in Peterhead and is recovering well.
"Sadly, the disability will have a major impact on his working life in the fishing industry so he will probably be sent home,” said Doug. “If this happens I will contact my AoS colleagues in the Philippines so that local support can be offered to him and his family,” added Doug.
In a separate incident on February 10, Doug assisted another Filipino fisherman who suffered a crushed hand while working in Peterhead.
“I headed for Aberdeen hospital where he had been taken. He was worried as his feet were cold and asked if I could provide some socks.
“Fortunately I had several pairs of socks and gloves given to AoS by a church volunteer and went to get them. When I returned to hospital, he had gone in for surgery so I left the socks there for him,” said Doug.
Doug visited the fisherman again the next day, bringing him some Filipino papers, phone cards, Lenten leaflets and a set of rosary beads.
“He was also very grateful for the socks I had left behind,” said Doug. Doug will continue to support the fisherman until he is ready to resume work.