Seafarers charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) is continuing to assist Ukrainian seafarers arriving at ports in Great Britain.
AoS Port Chaplains up and down the country are offering practical help such as providing internet connections for Ukrainian crew to contact their families back home.
Southampton Port Chaplain Reverend Roger Stone who is supporting Ukrainian seafarers said: “I met two who live very near Crimea. One is Ukrainian, the other half Russian, and half Ukrainian. We discussed the situation in Ukraine. Their view is that we are all human beings and national identity comes second. They are very worried about the situation, as are their families back in the Ukraine. I promised to remember that at mass. One is going home to Ukraine in the next few days and is wondering what exactly he is going home to.”
Also paramount is the safety of seafarers whose ships are arriving at Ukrainian ports. Several major shipping lines have already stated they are prepared to take necessary measures to keep their crew and activities safe and are closely monitoring the situation as their vessels call at Ukrainian ports.
In an update on its website international law firm Ince & Co said that while the state of affairs in Ukraine remained fluid an escalation of tensions and any military action may have repercussions for shipping, including crew.
There are an estimated 39,000 Ukrainian seafarers worldwide, making the country a major supplier of seafarers.
Seafarers Awareness Week, March 19, 2014; Image: AoS