10 Dec


Abandoned at Christmas

10 Dec, 2018

Seyed is one of the abandoned PSD2 crew receiving support from Sailors' Society

As Christmas approaches, families around the world will make the final preparations for the festive period – but for two abandoned seafarers it’s just another reminder of what they’re missing at home.

It's the second year in a row that Asmael Alsarwt and Seyed Nasr Soltan are stranded, abandoned by their ship's owner they are thousands of miles from home.

Since being abandoned on their vessel the PSD2 in Mozambique’s Beira port in 2017, the men have received the support of Sailors' Society's Crisis Response Network (CRN).

Earlier this year Sailors Society’s Crisis Response Network took on its 100th crisis case since its launch in 2015, with piracy, non-payment of wages, death at sea and abandonment accounting for most of the cases supported.

Rev Boet van Schalkwyk, who heads up the CRN in Africa, said, “The PSD2 crew was in a very bad situation. There were four of them left on board when we first saw them in Beira, none of whom had been paid any wages since they joined.”

Asmael is the ship's captain; he comes from Syria and is married with two children, a five-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son.

Sailors' Society's chaplains are not only providing him with emotional support through his ordeal, but also the practical means to get home.

The charity's CEO Stuart Rivers explained, “Asmael wasn't expecting to be away from home for nearly as long as he has been.

“As a result, his passport expired and we have provided practical support by liaising with the Syrian Embassy in Pretoria to help him get a new one so he can get home to see his family.”

The support the charity has provided has been a truly global effort, with chaplain Azarias Muchanga travelling across Mozambique to supply the men with care, provisions and medication.

The ship left Mozambique and travelled to South Africa, where it was once again abandoned and has remained ever since.

Chaplain Paul Richardson visits the vessel every week to ensure that the men's essential needs are met

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