In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, virtual chaplaincy is being offered to seafarers as maritime charity Sailor’s Society suspends its port activities.
The charity is pausing port activities in the 90 ports around the globe where it operates for an initial period of two weeks. This is in response to the World Health Organisation (WHO) activating an international state of emergency due to the increased spread of the virus.
Chaplains will be available using online social media and digital technology to provide advice, support and arrange practical help for crews. The charity is setting up a Facebook group for seafarers concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their health and livelihoods.
“Our chaplains usually meet 1,000 seafarers a day in ports across the globe. As this crisis has unfolded, we have been closely following health advice in the ports where we operate and offering virtual chaplaincy to quarantined seafarers,” said Sandra Welsh COO, Sailor’s Society.
“If you are a seafarer struggling at this time, you are not alone. We know this is a particularly distressing and unsettling time for many of you and we are still very much here for you, even if we can’t be with you physically,” Welsh assured.
Sailor’s Society have dedicated a section of its website to COVID-19, with health information, advice for seafarers on how to manage their mental health during the pandemic and contact details for chaplains and the new Facebook group. To access this site please click here.