The Flying Angel, the first purpose built seafarers support vessel in the world, is gaining more prominence as donations keep coming in from various companies that recognize its importance.
One of the companies that recognized the potential of the Flying Angel is Smit Lamnalco, provider of safe and efficient towage and associated marine services to the oil and gas terminal industry. Namely, the company assigned a donation worth USD 50,000 for this and the upcoming year respectively, intended for the upkeep of the vessel, gCaptain news site writes.
While commenting on the donation, Andrew Brown, Smit Lamnalco Group Business Development Manager referred to the difficulties of seafarers’ life at sea by saying:
“We are only too happy to help offer them the things that we take for granted. These can help change their lives at sea. Virtually all imports into the United Arab Emirates come by sea so there is a clear need to support the seafarers who are responsible for bringing these in.”
The idea behind the Flying Angel’s mission to the Fujairah Anchorage, where around 3,000 seafarers are at anchorage off the east coast of the United Arab Emirates, is to provide seafarers with a refuge from the everyday life, many nautical miles away from home, offering them a wide range of services.
Since her first deployment in 2007, on average 75 seafarers a day embarked on the Flying Angel. Once on board they can call home, send an email, look at pictures of family and friends on the internet, or talk to a welfare officer. It is said, that over 80,000 seafarers benefitted from her operations.
Being aware of the fact that long periods at sea, contribute to a sense of isolation of seafarers, the Flying Angel enables them to have a taste of home, relax and flee from their ordinary routine.
Speaking on behalf of the Angel Appeal, Theresa Dommett expressed her gratitude to Smit Lamnalco’s support, adding that it will be more than welcome in ensuring the vessel’s continuation of operations which are taking place due to the generosity of the sponsors. The Flying Angel costs approximately USD 1,000 a day to run.
“Smit Lamnalco’s generosity will obviously go a great way towards meeting the Flying Angel’s operational requirements but also lend further credibility to our cause, and I am confident that this partnership with Smit Lamnalco will be a fulfilling one for all parties involved, especially for the thousands of seafarers that call the waters off Fujairah home,” Dommett added.
World Maritime News Staff, July 20, 2012