News

Service on board for missing seafarer

14th March 2017

Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) Cape Town port chaplain Fr Gerardo Garcia went on board a containership, Maersk Cotonou, to celebrate a memorial service after a crew member is believed to have gone overboard.
              Fr Gerardo received a request to go on the ship in the early morning of February 23. He was welcomed on board by the captain and crew of 15, and celebrated service for the missing seafarer, a Chinese national. 
              “The religious experience on the ship was very intense and filled with devotion. Everybody requested a blessing and a Rosary to keep in memory of the crew member who disappeared,” said Fr Gerardo. 
              After blessing the ship and the missing crew member’s room, Fr Gerardo left the ship agreeing to keep in touch with the other seafarers through the ship’s agent. 
Fr Gerardo Garcia Apostleship of the Sea Cape Town port chaplain with crew members of Maersk Cotonou
              The distress and anxiety felt by seafarers who lose a colleague at sea can often be magnified because seafarers spend many months working at sea together and become like family to each other. 
              AoS recognises the need for them to get access to emotional, spiritual and practical support when they arrive at South African ports.
              AoS has four dedicated port chaplains – in Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Richards Bay - to support seafarers. Last year, AoS port chaplains in South Africa visited more than 200 ships and assisted seafarers with a range of faith needs including getting to Mass, prayer cards, rosaries and pastoral care. 
Fr Gerardo Garcia Apostleship of the Sea Cape Town port chaplain with crew members of Maersk Cotonou