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Seafarers receive counselling after pilot dies

Crew have received support from seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) after a Port of London pilot died while boarding their vessel in Gravesend Reach, England.

Pilot Gordon Coates was killed last Wednesday night at around 6.10pm (local time) while boarding the general cargo vessel  Sunmi (pictured). The ship is operated by Norway’s Misje Rederi.

The ship’s Russian crew received support from AoS’s Tilbury and Thames port chaplain Wojciech Holub, who visited the ship on the night of the accident and the morning after.

“They were disturbed and deeply saddened as a result of the accident,” said Holub.

“There were no long conversations as they were busy, but our presence was much appreciated. We also provided them with means of communicating with their families.”

AoS provided further support when the ship called at Pasajes Port, Spain early this week.

Jose Ignacio, AoS’s port chaplain, visited the crew together with a Russian seafarer living locally.

The Port of London Authority has started investigations into Coates’ death. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch will conduct its own investigation.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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