Seafarer charities respond to Typhoon Haiyan

Manila: Leading seafarer charities have responded to the devastation wrought on the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan which slammed into the centre of the country on Friday killing around 10,000 people. 

“A huge percentage of the world's seafarers are from the Philippines. Now more than ever we need the industry's help,” the Sailors’ Society said in setting up a special donation site which readers can access here

The Mission to Seafarers has set up a new emergency communications fund, which will give free access to wifi and hand out phone cards to Filipino seafarers in the charity’s directly funded international centres.

Ken Peters, director of justice and welfare said: “With so many Filipino crews around the world, we are very anxious to ensure that any crew member who needs to call home in an emergency can do so, regardless of the ability to pay. At the Mission, we have offered an immediate bursary for 7 days, to MtS centres, to enable them to fund free calls home, either by connecting to Wi-Fi or to fund the distribution of free phone cards, SIMs or top up cards. We will monitor this situation closely but it comes in response to so many worried and distressed seafarers who are far from home and are desperate to get news quickly as they come ashore in port.”

More details on how to donate are available here.  

Among shipping lines one of the first to react to the tragedy has been Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), which relies on the Philippines for the majority of its seafarer needs. MOL has already volunteered a donation of $30,000. [12/11/13]


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