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  • 10/05/2018 03:19 PM

    Sydney marine pilots show support for seafarers

    A group of marine pilots from Port Authority of NSW get together to show their support for the charity Mission to Seafarers and raise funds for seafarers visiting our ports.

    An estimated 1.5 million seafarers are sailing around the world at any given time. They transport the goods we use every day and help keep the global economy afloat. But they can spend months at sea without any contact with friends or family and this can cause a huge impact on their mental wellbeing.

    Enter, Mission to Seafarers: a welfare organisation that provides support to seafarers in around 200 ports throughout the world — which has now been giving a helping hand from Sydney’s marine pilots.

    Marine pilots at Port Botany
    Image: Port Authority’s marine pilots at Port Botany with Sister Mary Leahy OAM after
    raising money to assist seafarers visiting Sydney.

    In Sydney, Mission to Seafarers runs a free shuttle bus service into Walsh Bay from Port Botany four times a day to help seafarers get ashore to run essential errands, go shopping, contact loved ones or just get out of their work environment in the few hours they have available on land.

    These bus trips carry around 10,000 seafarers per year but Mission to Seafarers doesn’t have the thousands of dollars needed to take the Sydney toll roads and save precious time.

    Recently, Port Authority's Sydney marine pilots showed their support by each donating $1 a day to help cover the costs of Mission to Seafarers' annual road toll fee.

    Port Botany
    Image: Many seafarers who visit Port Botany have been at sea for months at a time.
    Mission to Seafarers works to improve their wellbeing

    To thank them for their gesture, Sister Mary Leahy OAM, the port chaplain for Sydney and regional coordinator for the Apostleship of the Sea (Stella Maris), visited the marine pilots to talk about the hardships many seafarers can face: from a lack of food and undrinkable water, to being bullied and experiencing loneliness and isolation.

    But with the assistance of organisations like Mission to Seafarers and the support of people like Port Authority’s marine pilots, the mission is simple: to have seafarers depart Sydney in a healthier state of mind, body and spirit than when they arrived.

    Port Authority is a proud supporter of Mission to Seafarers and provides practical and financial assistance to the charity in Sydney, Newcastle and Port Kembla.

    Find out more about the work of Mission to Seafarers.