When news happens send us your pictures, video and views. Text BE to 80360 or contact us by email
Visitors’ organisation appeals for help to support sailors around the UK
A GROUP which helped the crew of a cargo ship detained at Portland for eight months is making a plea for help.
Members of the Apostleship of the Sea will visit local churches on ‘Sea Sunday’ to raise awareness of the organisation’s work, recruit more volunteers and encourage donations.
It will take place this Sunday and will include a visit to St Augustine’s Church in Weymouth, part of the Catholic parish of Our Lady, Star of the Sea.
It comes after months of donating time, food and money to the five sailors, of Turkey and Georgia, stran-ded aboard Westwind II.
The cargo ship was arrested by the Admiralty Marshall in October due to a damages claim after it ran aground and caused disruption to a nearby mussels and oyster farm.
The men were told if they were to leave the ship they would not be paid.
A court ruled the ship should be sold for £500,000 and the crew’s wages paid from the proceeds.
Charities the Apostleship of the Sea and the Sailors’ Society stepped in to help the men when the vessel was de-arrested and re-arrested again.
John Green, of the Apostleship of the Sea charity, said: “The volunteer ship visitors of the Apostleship of the Sea around the coast of Great Britain and here in Portland and Weymouth visit thousands of ships to support many thousands of merchant seafarers who can suffer dangerous working conditions, low pay, poor morale, sickness, and separation from family.
“Apostleship of the Sea works to combat these problems by providing pastoral and practical care to seafarers. “It depends wholly on voluntary contributions to continue its work and on Sea Sunday its volunteers will be taking this appeal to local churches to raise awareness of the plight of seafarers and the work of the Apostleship of the Sea to support them.”
Each year ship visitors make some 200 visits to ships calling at Weymouth and Portland.
Mark Kemmis-Betty, of the charity, said: “We were so glad to help the crew of the Westwind II. It is such a relief that they have gone home now and will be paid.
“On Sea Sunday we will raise awareness for what the charity does and also make calls for volunteers and donations.”