It is estimated that as many as 160,000 Filipino seafarers are directly affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
Here is some information on what measures the maritime industry is taking to assist seafarers affected by the disaster:
- Smart Satellite Services (an InterManager Associate Member) is providing satellite phone links for Filipino seafarers to typhoon affected areas.
- The Orange Foundation has donated US$30,000 to the Seafarers Emergency Fund to pay for free communications for Filipino seafarers.
- The German Shipowners organisation has provided US$20,000 to the German Seamen’s Mission and Mission to Seafarers to pay for free phone cards for Filipino seafarers.
- The Philippines Seafarers Union (PSU) is making efforts to distribute relief supplies in Cebu province. Its members are from the affected areas in Cebu and Leyte.
- The Mission to Seafarers has provided £20,000 for all 47 centres that are directly funded by HQ, to enable Filipino seafarers to receive free Wi-Fi, top up phone cards and access to computers, and they are providing support through ship-visiting, transport and counselling. They have issued a poster to all their 121 seafarers centres worldwide with information for seafarers about who to contact to trace missing relatives affected by the Typhoon.
- The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has set up a relief fund that unions can donate to.
- The Apostleship of the Sea (Stella Maris) in Manila has free accommodation in their dormitories for Filipino seafarers who need to stay in the capital while they trace their families. Further information is available from Fr Paulo Prigol. The AoS centre in Cebu is available as a logistic hub for relief efforts. Further information is available from Fr Yoyo.
- The ITF affiliate Filipino union AMOSUP is using its training ship, the Felix Oca, to transport humanitarian supplies provided by Norwegian shipowners and others to the affected areas.
- The shipping company MOL donated US$30,000 to the relief effort.
- KVH’s Headland Media is using its daily news bulletin, Newslink, to provide information on the typhoon and aftermath to its 100,000 Filipino seafarer readers on board 10,000 ships all over the world. KVH is also providing free calls via its satellite communication on ships for Filipino seafarers.
- ISWAN is also helping to share information and provide a service to seafarers who are concerned about their families back home in the Philippines, via its SeafarerHelp free helpline. SeafarerHelp will have Tagalog speakers available.
- Seafarer welfare organisations and missions have also put their chaplains and welfare workers on alert to cope with Filipino seafarers who receive tragic news while at sea or in port.
- Carnival Corporation & Miami Heat have pledged at least $1 million for relief efforts.
- InterManager member V.Ships has set up an incident response team in the Philippines for its crews.
- The charity, Seafarers UK, has provided £15,000 in support of the Seafarers Emergency Fund, enabling Filipino seafarers to get in touch with their families for free via seafarer and mission centres around the world.
- The UK Merchant Navy Welfare Board has donated £5,000 to the Seafarers Emergency Fund.
Companies wishing to donate to the Seafarers Emergency Fund (SEF) to provide free communications for Filipino seafarers away from home should email: [email protected] or phone: +44 (0) 300 012 4279.
Individuals wishing to donate can do so via the Mission to Seafarers, Sailors Society or Apostleship of the Sea.
Seafarers can find their nearest seafarer centre via the online directory on iswan.org.uk