By: John Green
On Monday, the Apostleship of the Sea port chaplain in Vancouver, British Columbia was celebrating with the captain and crew of a container ship. Just two days later, on Wednesday 1 February, the MOL Prestige suffered a serious fire in the engine room that left it disabled. Five crew members were injured, with two of them airlifted by helicopter with serious burns to hospital.
The ship which was en route from Vancouver to Tokyo, Japan, is now understood to be disabled and awaiting tugs to tow it to port.
Deacon Dileep Athaide, AoS chaplain to the port of Vancouver, said: "This was a ship visit I won't forget. On Monday 29th January I routinely boarded the container ship at Deltaport, and was surprised to be told by the Captain and his wife who was sailing with him that it was their 40th wedding anniversary. I gave them a special blessing to mark the happy occasion."
He added that "This incident highlights that, despite all the modern technology on ships, being a seafarer can be a very dangerous job. I am now especially praying for the full recovery of the injured crew members. It is moving to think that seafarers make such sacrifices and face such danger to support their families."
Dileep makes more than 500 ship visits per year in the port of Vancouver, assisting seafarers with practical information, support and a listening ear.
In 2017 seafarers' charity Apostleship of the Sea visited more than 70,000 ships in over 300 ports around the world.
For more information about AOS Canada see: www.apostleshipofthesea.ca