SEAFARERS

Why we need seafarers

Over 90 percent of the world's trade is carried in ships.

Cargoes of raw materials supply our industries; finished goods fill our shops and homes. We eat imported food. We wear imported clothes. We drive foreign cars using foreign or offshore fuel. We export goods to help to pay for these imports. Without ships and seafarers, trade would cease and our lives would be almost unrecognisable.

...and they need us.

Seafarers need us. They leave their homes and families to work at sea, one of the world's most dangerous and exacting working environments.

Today's ships are bigger and faster. Their crews are much smaller than they used to be. Ships spend less time in port so there are fewer opportunities for a change of scene, for rest and recreation.

Many crews are made up of seafarers of different nationalities. A crew of sixteen may speak thirteen languages. This leads to isolation and loneliness, compounded by the watch system which inhibits shared leisure time.

Seafarers work long hours on long contracts, some as long as two years. Contact with loved ones is often expensive and therefore irregular. Some ship owners treat seafarers unjustly, paying them low wages, supplying inadequate food and failing to equip and maintain ships to international standards.

The Mission to Seafarers cares for seafarers by providing centres in ports around the world, visiting seafarers on board their ships, and working with other agencies in justice and welfare cases.

The Mission to Seafarers is committed to meeting the spiritual and practical needs of seafarers regardless of nationality and creed. We believe this is what God calls us to do.