Ship visiting season has arrived this year for the ISWAN and SeafarerHelp team, starting with a trip to the Port of Tilbury earlier this month.
Two of our team members were greeted by Deutsche Seemannsmission Port Chaplain Mark Möller, part of an ecumenical team of chaplains at London Tilbury Seafarers’ Centre. Mark showed our team members around the centre, which is managed by Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest. It offers free WiFi and has a 24-hour lounge with a TV and pool table which seafarers can use when the centre is closed. SIM cards, mobile phone top-ups, snacks and London-themed souvenirs can be purchased there and free minibus pick-ups are available every afternoon to bring seafarers from their vessels to the centre.
Our team accompanied Mark on two ship visits. They spoke to crew members on board about the free, 24-hour helpline service offered by SeafarerHelp and left SeafarerHelp posters, mugs and contact cards in the ships’ galleys. On the first ship, a container ship transporting waste to Amsterdam, our SeafarerHelp Russian speaker also gave one-to-one emotional support to a crew member who was experiencing some difficulties on board. The crew were very hospitable – the cook brought pieces of cake from the captain’s birthday, and the captain took our team members and Mark up to the bridge where there were spectacular views of the port and surrounding area.
ISWAN would like to thank Port Chaplain Mark Möller for generously giving his time to take our team members on his ship visits and providing a valuable insight into seafarers’ welfare provision at the Port of Tilbury.
London Tilbury Seafarers' Centre:
The 24-hour lounge at the seafarers' centre:
Seafarers at work on the container ship our team members visited:
The view of the Port of Tilbury from the bridge: