Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Robert Byrne CO

Apostleship of the Sea

Press Release - 15 January 2018: Crew of ship moored off North East England cared for

The chief officer of a ship anchored North of the Tyne, North East England, has sent a thank you note to the port chaplain of local seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea who visited the crew and delivered presents over Christmas.

The bulk carrier, MV Ikan Luding, arrived in Tyne in early December, and has been anchored North of the Tyne since that time while its seafarers on board await instructions about their next job.

On Christmas Eve, Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) Tyne port chaplain Paul Atkinson visited the crew at anchorage with the assistance of local Harbour Master Steve Clapperton and their boat crew.

Paul wanted to find out if the men needed support and to deliver 27 Christmas shoeboxes, donated by local churches, groups and marine insurer North P&I Club.

In an email the ship’s chief officer wrote, “We Seafarer from Mv Ikan Luding sending our warmest Greetings of Merry Christmas to all the staff of AOS Newcastle. Appreciated much your generosity of sending us box of gifts though we are distantly anchored here in Tyne, UK. Many thanks and God will return in thousand folds your kindness.

Paul said the Filipino crew are all fine and well-provided for.

They are waiting to find out when and where their next job will take them. They are a little anxious and bored, as the waiting can be unbearable, but they keep themselves busy doing routine maintenance such as painting.

It is also frustrating for the crew to be so near dry land yet not be able to go ashore. Our visit helped lift their spirits. They now know that there are people here who care and are ready to help.” said Paul.

The official press release can be accessed here.

About Apostleship of the Sea:

The Apostleship of the Sea (AoS), is a registered charity and agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of England & Wales and Scotland. It is wholly reliant on voluntary donations and legacies to continue its work.

90% of world trade is transported by ship, and more than 100,000 ships visit British ports each year. However the life of a modern seafarer can be dangerous and lonely. They may spend up to a year at a time away from home, separated from their family and loved ones, often working in harsh conditions.

AoS chaplains and ship visitors welcome seafarers to our shores - regardless of their colour, race or creed and provide them with pastoral and practical assistance. They recognise them as brothers with an intrinsic human dignity which can be overlooked in the modern globalised maritime industry.

For more information contact AoS on 0207 901 1931 or email: info@apostleshipofthesea.org.uk.