Over 300 vessels and at least 1,000 seafarers are stuck in Ukraine*, unable to escape the fighting and running dangerously low on food and medical supplies. Familes of seafarers are desperately trying to get to the border, and Ukrainian seafarers around the world are waiting anxiously for news of their loved ones, fearful of what happens when their contracts end.
Stella Maris chaplains are working tirelessly to support the immediate needs of these seafarers and their families, providing support such as SIM cards, food, transport, and temporary accommodation.
* March 25, Lloyd’s List Intelligence
It’s impossible to say what it’s like for these seafarers. I spoke to a ship master who could hear rocket attacks overhead. It’s not easy for seafarers to leave the ships, so we use mobile phones. We ask: are you alive, are you ok? It’s important to maintain communication in such hard times.
– Rostik – Stella Maris ship visitor in Odesa, Ukraine
How is Stella Maris Responding?
Urgent food supplies
Stella Maris Chaplains in Odesa are working with humanitarian partners to ensure vital food supplies can be delivered to seafarers’ trapped on ships in the Black Sea. They are also running a soup kitchen to help families of seararers in Odesa.
Stella Maris Ukraine is also supporting families of seafarers, especially wives and children, to get to the borders. They are then being helped by the wider Stella Maris network across Europe.
We’re using a Stella Maris centre to provide emergency accommodation for 40 seafarers and their families seeking refuge in Poland at a time, before they move onto somewhere permanent. Everyone is also provided with an arrival pack of clothes, toiletries and essentials.
Contacting loved ones
Recognising the desperate need to contact their families back home, Stella Maris continues to provide free phone SIM cards to Ukrainian seafarers.
This vital work is only possible because of our generous supporters. If you would like to support seafarers and their families affected by this crisis, please make a donation today.