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Summer Appeal 2014

When a seafarer becomes ill or gets injured, sometimes thousands of miles from home, it’s often Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) port chaplains or ship visitors who are there to support him.
 
                  While making one of his regular ship visits earlier this year, Tilbury chaplain Wojciech Holub was alerted to an incident on board a container vessel. 
                  "As I sat chatting with some of the crew in the mess room, one of the vessel’s officers barged in and called out for help,” he said. “He had a Filipino seafarer with him who was in agony after getting his thumb smashed by containers. I called the ambulance and then sat with the injured seafarer to provide some reassurance while waiting for the emergency services to arrive.” 
                  The injured seafarer was taken to Basildon Hospital and then transferred to the Royal London Hospital. After several days in hospital he flew home to the Philippines.
                  
“Unfortunately nothing could be done to save his thumb and it had to be amputated at the joint. I have since heard from the man’s crew mates who say he is recovering,” said Wojciech. 
Wojciech: alerted to an incident on board a container vessel
Wojciech: seafarers' 
lives can change forever in just a split second.

                   Similarly Tony McAvoy, port chaplain to Hartlepool and Tees, was contacted when a Filipino seafarer called Silvestre was rushed to hospital after developing a brain haemorrhage. 
                   “I immediately contacted the Catholic hospital chaplain who met me at the intensive care unit and we, together with two staff nurses, prayed over Silvestre. He was also given the sacrament of the sick.
                   “Sadly, he passed away overnight, which of course had a profound impact on the remainder of the ship’s crew. I visited the ship and spent time with the crew before Mass was celebrated on board. 
                   “The ship was due to leave the following day and the crew members asked if they could visit Silvestre to pay their respects. So I called the hospital and a little later we transported the crew in two mini buses to the chapel of rest where they prayed with the same two nurses who had been with Silvestre.” 
Tony McAvoy is AoS' port chaplain in Hartlepool and Tees.
Tony is AoS' port chaplain in Hartlepool and Tees.

                   In April, when a Russian seafarer was airlifted off his cargo ship to Eastbourne Hospital with a burst appendix, the AoS team in Rye was asked to support him. 
                   “When I visited him he had left hospital and was staying at the Premier Inn in Hastings. I brought him some boxes of biscuits, cake and chocolates. He was the chief engineer and fluent in English,” said ship visitor Ledes Duffy. 
                   “I left my mobile number with him in case he needed to contact me for anything. He was thankful and grateful for the visit.” 
                   Last year, AoS port chaplains assisted 199,360 seafarers who arrived at ports up and down Great Britain, and helped 54 crew members in hospital. Like all AoS chaplains, Wojciech is full of admiration for those who work on ships to bring us many of the good we buy in our shops.
                   
“The incident with the Filipino reminded me of the dangerous environment that seafarers often work in. Their lives can change forever in just a split second,” he said.