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Catherine Spencer, chief executive officer of Seafarers UK reflects on the charity's response to the coronavirus pandemic
THE MARITIME CHARITY COLUMN
At the end of March, the welcome news that Seafarers UK's trustees had released £100,000 to deal with some immediate impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on global maritime communities was tempered with the knowledge that merchant seafarers were succumbing to Covid-19.
On cruise ships, the plight of passengers received plenty of media coverage, while the challenges facing crew stuck onboard quarantined vessels were largely ignored by commentators.
As ports around the world denied seafarers access to welfare services and pastoral support it became obvious that merchant seafarers should be designated as 'key workers', in recognition of their contribution to keeping world trade flowing.
Seafarers continue to suffer...many stranded on ships around the world and unable to return home