AoS Southampton port chaplain Reverend Roger Stone who is supporting Ukrainian seafarers said; “I met two who live very near Crimea. One is Ukrainian, the other half Russian, and half Ukrainian. We discussed the situation in Ukraine. Their view is that we are all human beings and national identity comes second.
“They are very worried about the situation, as are their families back in the Ukraine. I promised to remember that at mass. One is going home to Ukraine in the next few days and is wondering what exactly he is going home to.”
Maritime Bishop of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R.AM has asked for prayers for Ukrainian seafarers.In a message to seafarers worldwide he says; “Many of you sail in ships where there are Ukrainian crew members, many of them from Southern Ukraine. For them particularly, being away from home is difficult. They simply do not know what will happen to their families. On behalf of your fellow seafarers who are worried about their homes and families, please pray for peace and stability in Ukraine." (You can view this on our Facebook Page)
Also paramount is the safety of seafarers whose ships are arriving at Ukrainian ports. Several major shipping lines have already stated they are prepared to take necessary measures to keep their crew and activities safe and are closely monitoring the situation as their vessels call at Ukrainian ports.
In an update on its website, international law firm Ince & Co says that while the state of affairs in Ukraine remained fluid, an escalation of tensions and any military action may have repercussion for shipping, including crew. There are an estimated 39,000 Ukrainian seafarers worldwide, making the country a major supplier of seafarers.
You can read more about how AoS is helping Ukrainian seafarers here.