Mission to Seafarers Responds to Tragedy in the Singapore Strait

Peter Manimathu

By MarEx 2015-12-22 09:20:50

Global maritime welfare charity The Mission to Seafarers has been speaking today about their emergency support work with the surviving 6 crew members of the MV Thorco Cloud – a sank which sank in the Singapore Strait after a collision on 16 December.

Search and rescue operations have been continuing to try and locate a further 6 missing seafarers but so far no-one else has been found. The incident, which took place in Indonesian waters close to Batam, left the other vessel involved – the chemical tanker the MV Stolt Commitment- with minor damage and in a stable condition.

The Revd Peter Manimathu, Port Chaplain for The Mission to Seafarers in Jurong Port, said: “6 Filipino crewmen of the Thorco Cloud were rescued last night by the coastguard and their families have been notified. Another 6 crew are still unaccounted for. The vessel sank upon impact when the tanker hit the cargo vessel. They were taken to Singapore General Hospital for treatment and observation. I met with the surviving crew and the Captain, who are all very distraught. They told me that they had survived by staying afloat with life jackets but they all thought that they were going to die. One crew mentioned that while in the water, he slipped on every attempt to get on to a floating metal cover as he was covered in bunker oil, it was very frightening for him. As they had lost all their personal belongings, I provided them with clothes, a phone so that they could call their anxious families and prayed with them. The Mission to Seafarers in Singapore will do everything in our capacity to support them and will continue to visit them and provide care over the coming weeks.”

The Revd Canon Stephen Miller, Regional Director for East Asia, The Mission to Seafarers, said: “This is a terrible tragedy for those crew and families involved in the collision in Singapore. Our welfare team in the port of Jurong are providing urgent support to those who have suffered. We are very aware that the families of the seafarers are facing an anxious few days and the surviving crew will need our help when they arrive back home. We have therefore alerted our seafarers’ families’ project team, led by Mrs. May Jose in Manila, who are in touch with the Filipino families that have been affected. The Mission team plan to start visiting tomorrow to offer further care and practical assistance. We have also been in touch with the respective embassies in Singapore on behalf of the crew members who are still missing.”

The Mission to Seafarers cares for seafarers in over 200 ports in around 50 countries, and provides a range of practical, emotional and spiritual support to crews through ship-visiting, seafarers’ centers and welfare services, including emergency response and post-trauma care.

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