A humanitarian crisis

Pray for seafarers this Sea Sunday


Every year, churches around the world celebrate Sea Sunday: remembering seafarers in prayer, giving thanks for the crucial work they do and supporting them by donating to the work of international maritime charity Sailors’ Society.

Seafarers are in great need of your prayers this year. During the coronavirus pandemic, they’ve felt more isolated and have been called upon to make more painful sacrifices than ever before.

The UN has called their situation a “humanitarian crisis”. In an extreme version of lockdown, at the height of the crisis some 400,000 seafarers were stranded at sea long after their contracts ended, as covid restrictions prevented them from travelling home to their loved ones. Many of these are still waiting to go home.

They’ve had to continue working, without any rest days, breaks or often even the opportunity to set foot on dry land – for up to 17 months. A similar number have been unable to travel to work to make money to feed their families.

As countries around the world continue to move in and out of lockdown, there are still uncertainties over how seafarers can be vaccinated and allowed to travel. The uncertainty and financial challenges have had a huge impact on seafarer mental health. While there is no official record of the number of seafarer suicides since the start of the pandemic, we have received multiple reports suggesting the numbers are rising.

Seafarers have helped all of us cope during this difficult year. Thanks to them, our fears about running out of the essentials at the start of the pandemic were short-lived. They refilled our empty supermarket shelves, and put an end to panic buying.

We rely on seafarers - and seafarers rely on us.



Sea Sunday 2021 is on July 11, but you can mark the day on any Sunday of the year. With so many churches still in lockdown, we’ve made a short, narrated presentation about the situation facing seafarers, which you can share with your church on social media or add into your service, whether it’s online or in a church building.

Your church’s support can make a huge difference to seafarers struggling at this incredibly difficult time.

Find out more about how we’re helping them here; you can donate online or contact us to discuss how your church can support us.

You can read more about our mental health support appeal here.

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