Seafarers Supported After Colleague Dies at Sea
A port chaplain in Portsmouth, South England, stepped in to provide pastoral care for a reefer ship’s crew upon the request of its manager, Seatrade Groningen BV, after a seafarer died on board.
The 19 crew members on the Comoros Stream were distraught following their colleague’s death while they were at sea in the Atlantic en-route to Portsmouth.
Feeling uncomfortable and seeking reassurance, they requested that the ship be blessed when they arrived in port.
Peter Morgan, Portsmouth port chaplain from seafarers’ charity Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) arranged for a local priest, Fr Peter Hart, from St Margaret Mary Church, to celebrate Mass on board and bless the ship.
“The mood on board was quite low and the seafarers did not speak much of the deceased, perhaps because the tragic incident was still very fresh in their minds,” said Morgan.
Mass was celebrated in memory of the deceased crew member. After that some of crew spoke with Morgan, there was a change of atmosphere on board after this, it was more positive.
“The ship and the cabin of the deceased were blessed on request of the captain and chief engineer. The crew felt more comfortable after this,” Morgan added.
The ship has since left Portsmouth, but Morgan and AoS local ship visitors will continue to support the crew when they return to Portsmouth in just over a month’s time from their South America run.
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