Seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) has stepped in to support crew of a container ship currently detained at Chatham in Kent.
The crew of the Southern Star have not been paid their wages over the last few months. The ship was unseaworthy and in a poor state of repair and was taken into Chatham after developing engine trouble. It was subsequently detained by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency and arrested by the UK Admiralty Court.
AoS Ship Visitor Bob Bushnell has been providing the Russian crew with practical and pastoral support. Some of the crew have been repatriated while eight crew remain onboard, literally stranded in a foreign port.
Bob and the AoS team have been providing the crew pastoral and practical support, including buying essential provisions for them, as the ship’s supplies has reached low levels. For the last three months the crew have not been paid any wages, and Apostleship of the Sea together with other agencies have been pressing for a speedy resolution of this situation for all the crew.
However, while waiting for a settlement, it is the seafarers and their families who have to bear the brunt of any fallout.
AoS Kent Port Chaplain Deacon Paul Glock said: “Despite their difficulties and anxieties the crew are very modest. They’ve said that there are many other seafarers who are more deserving of help; which I find truly humbling given their circumstances.”