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Crews "extremely vulnerable" to attacks at sea says charity

Crews "extremely vulnerable" to attacks at sea says charity
Liam Chorley 26th October 2020

IN THE wake of yesterday's major incident (Sunday), one maritime charity has spoke of how "extremely vulnerable" crews are to attacks at sea.

International maritime charity, Sailors’ Society, says it is such a huge problem, they have had to specially train support staff in trauma recovery.

The charity, with headquarters in Southampton, offers chaplaincy and support to seafarers.

Seven men were arrested on Sunday, after elite SBS soldiers boarded the tanker off the coast of the Isle of Wight, following reports its crew had been threatened by stowaways.

All seven remain in custody at police stations across Hampshire.

Bembridge RNLI were among those called to vessel.

Sailors’ Society chief executive, Sara Baade said: "It’s utterly terrifying to be faced with a gang of men threatening violence, especially when you're miles out to sea.

"Unfortunately, seafarers are extremely vulnerable to attacks from pirates or desperate stowaways when they’re just trying to do their job.

"Situations like this can easily get out of hand, leading to injury or worse, so it’s great news for the crew that the UK authorities stepped in so quickly to keep them safe.

"We’re on standby at our Southampton seafarer centre to give them any support they need.”

Founded in 1818, Sailors’ Society is one of the largest seafarer welfare charities in the world.

A non-denominational Christian charity, its chaplains reach out to more than 25,000 seafarers, of all faiths and none, every month at home, in port and at sea.

It supports and empowers seafarers, their families and communities through welfare and wellness programmes, education and the relief of poverty and distress.