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A thank-you for seafarers


Seafarers from around the world, delivering essential supplies via the River Thames during the coronavirus crisis, are getting a special thank-you from the Port of London Authority (PLA).

Since the UK went into COVID-19 lockdown on 23 March, over 175 vessels have arrived at Tilbury and London Gateway in Essex, laden with a diverse range of goods, vital to keeping the nation going – including food, fuel and medical supplies.

But it’s a very difficult time for the vessels’ crew members, who for public health reasons are being advised not to disembark in port.

To make the long days and nights on board, away from home and their loved ones, a little more bearable for these key workers, the PLA is arranging regular thank-you parcels for crews docked on the river.

Wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, Mark Moeller, a chaplain with the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest (QVSR), is distributing the emergency parcels.

They contain personal hygiene products, such as soap and toothpaste as well as chocolate and soft drinks as a treat. A further donation of £500 has been made by the PLA to provide mobile phone SIM cards, allowing the seafarers to make calls to their loved ones back home, whilst in port.

Alistair Gale; the PLA’s corporate affairs director said: “‘The QVSR has been working exceptionally hard to help seafarers in London, who can’t disembark due to COVID-19. We’re pleased to have stepped in to top up the essential supplies they are getting to the ships.”

Alex Campbell from QVSR said: “’We are receiving daily calls from seafarers asking for support, many of them are not able to get off ship to buy their usual supplies of basic, such as toothpaste, shower gel and soap.

“The PLA has responded to this need and have donated a range of these items which our port chaplain, Mark Moeller, has been able to supply to the seafarers.

“QVSR is working with the PLA to ensure that seafarers are looked after at this time of crisis, when it would be so easy to forget them amidst all the chaos and confusion.”

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