Seafarers are in crisis. Thousands of seafarers are stranded far from home. Unable to leave their ships, or see their loved ones. Sadly many have been abandoned by their employers, with no money, food, or any way to get back home.
This was the case for a 22 year-old seafarer who got stranded in Uruguay during the pandemic. He had joined a fishing vessel when his father died, so that he could provide for his family. But his wages had never been paid and he was confined to his ship, with only a small amount of rice to eat and limited water. The temperature dropped and he had no winter clothing. Two of the crew came down with a fever and he thought he would die.
But a Stella Maris chaplain came to the ship with food, clothes, phone cards, and medical supplies. The chaplain worked with the port authorities and ship owners and eventually managed to get him home to his family in the Philippines.
He believes that, without Stella Maris, he would most likely be dead.
Seafarers are far away from their family and loved ones, always at sea or a stranger in a foreign land. We welcome the stranger, in line with Jesus’s instruction. For hundreds of seafarers, a ship visit from Stella Maris provides critical support.
In the good times, we provide seafarers with faith resources, warm clothing and SIM cards so they can talk to their families back home. We help them to get to confession or Mass, or to the local shops. And in the bad times, we do so much more.
But we can’t do it without your support.
How you helped last year
8,000 ship visits
2,158 ships provided with phone and internet
80 ships supported in a crisis
Without Stella Maris, I’d never have made it, I’d be stranded and starving in Montevideo harbour, or more likely, dead.
– Seafarer abandoned in Uraguay