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Supporting those who need us

“Life at sea can be tough. But now what’s happening miles away back home is more distressing.”

It’s been just over a year since war broke out in Ukraine. In the months that passed, shelling destroyed homes and lives. Ports closed, communication was challenging and seafarers like Oleg did not know if his wife and children were safe.

While we watched in disbelief as cities were flattened, Ukrainian seafarers deployed around the world could do nothing except wait desperately for news. For those whose families have stayed in the war-torn country, the nightmare goes on and on - as it does for the international seafarers that still remain trapped in Black Sea ports.

Turkish and Syrian seafarers shared that fate, far from home where families and apartment blocks have been torn apart by the devastating earthquakes.

Yes, life at sea can be challenging, with storms, separation from family, loneliness and fear of piracy. But, for many in recent years, anxiety over news from home has far outweighed those worries.

Seafarers know they can reach us 24/7. They can speak to someone in their own language and we will support them, and their families, through each and every crisis, as we have done for more than 200 years.

Our helpline and Crisis Response Network ensure they have support whenever they need it; when they are overwhelmed and don’t know where else to turn and when fear and grief simply gets too much to bear.

Can you help us continue to be there for them?

To be at the end of the phone, online or just a text message away for every seafarer in need.


Seafarers like Yusuf. Just two months into a six-month contract and thousands of miles from home, Yusuf spent long days and nights waiting for news of his brother and nieces and nephews. Their home collapsed when the quake hit their Turkish tower block and they were taken to hospital.

Seafarers like Oleg. He was on board when war broke out and did not know if his wife and children were safe for days. Now his family are refugees, their home destroyed by bombing and Oleg stays at sea to support them. Worse still, his grandparents, too frail to leave their home, are still trapped behind enemy lines – his weekly calls to them are they only way he knows they are still alive.

Whatever the crisis, Sailors’ Society is there.

  • We support crews on the other side of the world from their loved ones caught up in the conflict and chaos in Ukraine and have helped families needing emergency shelter and to get to the safety of the border. We have provided almost 200 emergency welfare grants to Ukrainian seafarers in desperate need.
  • Over the past few years, Covid separated many seafarers from loved ones for long months after their contracts ended; some stayed at sea for up to 17 months. We cared for crews who got sick on board and could not get help and those who lost partners, parents, siblings, children and friends, including one captain who lost five members of his family to the virus.
  • Now we are here for Syrian and Turkish seafarers fearful of more quakes or even facing the loss of loved ones. For crew, many miles and months away from home, these are desperate times.

Will you be there today for those who bring us more than 90 per cent of everything we own and use? Those who sacrifice so much of what we take for granted to do this.



could help pay our helpline costs for a morning

could help pay for counselling sessions for a seafarer in crisis

could help pay for a seafarer’s emergency medical treatment

Today, more than ever, they need your help.

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