Port chaplain shocked at kidnapping

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apostleship of the sea3A port chaplain from seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea has spoken of his visits to a containership that this week had four of its crew kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Equatorial Guinea.

It was reported that the containership Hansa Marburg was attacked on Monday 130 miles south-west of the port of Malabo.

The shipping company is in contact with the crew members’ families and working with authorities to ensure the release of those kidnapped.

Deacon Paul Glock, Tilbury port chaplain, heard the news while he was visiting other ships in the port.

“I’ve been onboard that ship on a number of times. It’s been visiting Tilbury for a couple of years. On my last visit I did what I usually do, such as asking the crew if they wanted to visit the seafarers’ centre, go shopping in Tilbury, or if they needed SIM cards.”

He added that many of the crew were from Russia and the Ukraine. “It’s a tragedy. And it highlights that, despite all the modern technology on ships, being a seafarer is still a very dangerous job.

Martin Foley, National Director of the Apostleship of the Sea, said: “Sadly we can no longer think of piracy as just part of maritime history or seafarers’ tales. It’s a reality for many seafarers on ships today.

“Over the last few years or so the port chaplains of the Apostleship of the Sea have had many conversations with seafarers who have had to experience the anxiety and fear of sailing through piracy waters as the ship makes its way to deliver its cargo.”