Who are Seafarers ?
Seafarers are those who face loneliness, danger, separation from loved ones. These are just some of the problems seafarers face.
Well. This is not my opinion. This is the view of The Mission to Seafarers, part of the Anglican Church and a charity organization. They are present worldwide and have 100 plus centres to help and support seafarers for the last 150 years.
In addition to land based help centres, there is ‘Flying Angel’ the World’s first floating seafarers’ centre on full time service in the port of Fujairah, Dubai since April 15, 2007. At anytime there are 100 to 150 ships at the east coast anchorage of the UAE. It is the second largest bunkering anchorage in the world. There are as many as 2,000 seafarers from these ships who are unable to go ashore to contact their families. They spend many months on their vessels 3 to 13 miles offshore in an area covering 240 square miles. Flying Angel helps these seafarers to relax and unwind away from their ships and enjoy the ‘home from home” atmosphere found at Mission centres.
Here are some interesting features of Flying Angel:
- 27 metre boat, manned by a captain and four seafarers
- is based on the design of a pilot boat and was built by Albwardy Marine in Dubai
- named ‘Flying Angel’, by the Prince of Wales in a ceremony in Dubai on February 28, 2007
- name indicates the flying angel symbol of The Mission to Seafarers
- has welcomed over 3,000 seafarers so far and visited over 197 ships
- connected nearly 4,500 telephone calls and provided over 2,300 hours of internet time to seafarers
- distributed nearly 3,000 books, magazines and other items of literature
- facilities offered include
- access to a chaplain for services and counselling
- an Internet café for surfing the web and sending mails
- telephones costing US$2.40 for a 40 minute call home
- a book and DVD library
- service of a medical clinic with a full time paramedic onboard
- operates around the anchorage five days a week during daylight
Here is the map indicating worldwide centres of The Mission to Seafarers. Click the map to see the details.
Seafarers worldwide may take note of this to feel at home at these centres.
Update: July 14
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