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Can you help them navigate this storm?

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As a year like no other draws to a close, many of us have experienced what it’s like to feel completely out of control – especially when we can’t find comfort from being with the ones we love.

We’ve watched with a sense of foreboding as cases rise and lockdowns are announced, waiting to see how our lives will be affected. And for one group of people, it’s been particularly devastating.

Many of the men and women we support haven’t set foot on dry land for months.

Some 400,000 seafarers, who should have finished their contracts and be spending Christmas with their families, are still on board. They’re working 10 or 12 hours every day, with no idea when they’ll be able to get off the ship.

Their lives are at the mercy of the ever-changing public health rules around the globe. To get home, they would have to get through a mass of red tape and local restrictions in the port where they disembark, any transit airports and their home country. It’s proving impossible.

These seafarers are physically and mentally fatigued – and some are reaching breaking point.

Over the past few months, we’ve been approached by shipping companies for help because they have lost crew members to suicide.

It’s our mission to help these men and women before they lose hope. Our chaplains can listen to them and give them the comfort and support they
need to keep going.

Paul, who’s still at sea six months after his original contract ended and is
hoping against hope that this won’t be his second Christmas away from home, calls us regularly.

“I can’t talk to the other people on board because they’re in the same situation, so it’s not going to help, and I don’t want to tell my wife all the problems I’m facing when she’s so far away,” he says.

“I talk to a Sailors’ Society chaplain and that really helps me. She understands what I’m going through and helps me to keep calm.”

We’ve set up special, 24-7 helplines so that seafarers have someone to talk to when they’re feeling desperate, or if they’re worried about a colleague’s
mental health.

We want to reach out to as many seafarers as we can – but we can only do so with your support.

Can you help us reach more seafarers like Paul?

The ships they are trapped on may just be dots on the horizon for those of us on land, but as we navigate this pandemic, these seafarers are playing a critical part in our daily lives.

They keep the majority of world trade moving, transporting more than 90 per cent of the medicine, food, fuel and PPE that are crucial to our survival in
this pandemic.

Can you help them navigate this storm? Thank you for your support.

Your donation could save a life.

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