A new Sailors’ Society minibus has been provided for the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, to replace the old bus. This is thanks to the generosity of sponsors including Bocimar, Gulf Oil Marine, Anglo Eastern and Euronav who have funded the minibus. Without this sponsorship many seafarers would not have been able to leave their ships.
The Sailors’ Society minibus is used by the Society’s Antwerp Port Chaplain, Revd. Marc Schippers, to provide seafarers visiting the port with free and safe transport to wherever they need to go, such as the nearest phone and internet facilities, doctors, dentists or shops.
Marc, who has been working in the area for almost ten years, said: “This minibus is so important with Antwerp being the second largest port in Europe and the time it takes to visit ships in the northern area. The transportation capacity of the new minibus will be of great help to many seafarers, particularly as ship turnaround times are so tight. I am now able to help so many more seafarers per journey.”
Seafarers’ time ashore is often limited to only a few hours and Marc’s offer of transport is crucial in giving them the rare opportunity to get away from the ship; granting a brief respite from the monotony of life at sea.
Jenny Boland, Lead Fundraiser: Corporate and Trusts for the Sailors’ Society, said, “On behalf of the Sailors’ Society, I would like to thank our sponsors, Bocimar, Gulf Oil Marine, Anglo Eastern and Euronav. Without their funding and support the new minibus would not have been possible. It will mean a new lease of life for many seafarers who otherwise might not have been able to leave their ships when in Port.”
For more information, please visit www.sailors-society.org