'They gave us hope'

The story of little Stephaniya refusing to celebrate her birthday until her daddy came home broke our hearts.

She was turning four and it should have been such an exciting day for her.

Three months earlier, her dad and his crewmates were detained by Nigerian authorities, accused of attempted oil theft and faking a piracy attack.

Held under armed guard, thousands of miles away, able seaman Xavier Braisvan was thinking of nothing but his daughter on her special day and getting home to his family.

It would be another long seven months though before Stephaniya would be blowing out candles on her cake with her dad back by her side.

They weren’t alone in being separated by a political dispute far from home. All 26 crew on board the MT Heroic Idun had families waiting back home, confused, lonely and afraid.

Sailors’ Society’s crisis response team supported the crew and their loved ones through the months of trauma and silence.

Your help today will ensure others receive the help they desperately need in harrowing times.

We spoke to the seafarers whenever we could – but their phones were taken away, leaving them with no contact with the outside world.

The crew, from India, Sri Lanka, Poland and the Philippines, were desperate and some became sick.

“We went through a very difficult time,” said Xavier.

“We were very worried about our families and we could only look forward to somehow getting off the ship and getting home.

“I was devastated on my daughter’s birthday. She is very small, and I was upset that I missed her birthday.

“I am so happy that Sailors’ Society was there to support my family.”

Able seaman Xavier Braisvan back at home

Our Crisis Response Network has been running for seven years.

The free global service provides 24/7 care and support to seafarers and their families following critical incidents like piracy, imprisonment, accidents and natural disasters.


Will you help other seafarers in crisis today?

Another member of the Heroic Idun crew, Guruprasad Guntu, said our team gave his family hope.

“My daughters were very tense and upset. They kept asking my wife ‘When is father coming home’. They were struggling and my mum was also struggling.

“Sailors’ Society were always calling my family; they gave them hope. And even now we are home they tell me don’t worry – any problem, any time, they will be here.”

Seafarers bring us more than 90 per cent of everything we use and own. They bring our medicine, cars, phones and food. Will you be there today for them?


could help pay our helpline costs for a morning

could help pay for counselling sessions for a seafarer in crisis

could help pay for a seafarer’s emergency medical treatment

Today, more than ever, they need your help.

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