AoS supporters, members of the clergy, and the maritime community heard first-hand about the plight of a group of abandoned seafarers in Aberdeen and how AoS is supporting them during our annual Day of the Seafarer reception on board HQS Wellington docked on the Thames in London on June 28th.
The Indian crew from the Malaviya Seven offshore supply ship were last paid in July 2016 and are owed more than $650,000 in unpaid wages. The vessel was detained after routine checks revealed the seafarers had not been paid.
“The seafarers’ predicament not only affects them, it also affects their families back home who have food, living accommodation and other costs to pay,” AoS Aberdeen port chaplain Doug Duncan told the gathering.
Doug added, “Several of the men have school children and higher education fees to pay. This is one their main worries and stresses – how to support their families back home in India.”
AoS has been providing practical support to the crew, including supplying a generator to the vessel to ensure the men continued to get access to basic accommodation and living essentials, and arranging for urgent dentist and hospital visits.
Doug also explained how AoS have been providing pastoral care; taking some of the seafarers to church and a Hindu seafarer to a temple. Doug arranged for Bishop of Aberdeen, Hugh Gilbert OSB to visit the seafarers and bless them.
Doug added AoS also try and keep the seafarers’ spirits up and provide some much-needed escape by occasionally taking them out and about to visit local places of interest.
“It’s an anxious and stressful time for the crew but having someone from AoS they know and trust support them makes a difference. We’ve made them feel part of the wider local community during this difficult time.”
More photos can be seen here.