Seafarers’ charity the Apostleship of the Sea has welcomed the 2013 launch of National Ferry Fortnight and the focus it gives to the hard work of ferry crews.
Each year, the Passenger Shipping Association promotes a National Ferry Fortnight. This year’s two-week event will take place from March 2-16. The fortnight is designed to improve awareness of the UK’s 50 ferry routes.
In ports around Great Britain, and around the world, the port chaplains of the Apostleship of the Sea visit ferry crews, to support the crew when needed and to lend a friendly face and a listening ear, providing practical and spiritual support for each and every crew member.
Ferry crews and staff are one of the critical success factors for a safe and smooth voyage. Happy, professional crew not only enhance the passengers’ experience, but also promote the safe and efficient operation of the vessel. However, being a member of crew on a ship can be stressful. Factors such as prolonged separation from family and the proximity of so many people living and working together can exacerbate the effects of stress on crew members. Outlets and opportunities to talk and be heard for crew are important for their wellbeing so that they can continue to work and live in a professional and happy environment.
The impact of AoS port chaplains is therefore crucial. They offer emotional support to crew and at Christmas and Easter will arrange for religious services for Catholic seafarers from countries such as the Philippines.