Service Honors Seafarer who Died in a Canadian Port
Seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) held a service on board a ship following the death of a seafarer at the port of Trois-Rivières, Canada, on May 22.
AoS Canada National Director and Montreal port chaplain Fr Andrew Thavam said Mass for the deceased seafarer, a crew member of the bulk carrier Nord Quebec.
The 38-year-old Filipino man was found unconscious and with serious injuries on the deck of his ship. He was rushed to hospital but died later that night.
The tragic accident left the remaining 18 Filipino crew members shocked and saddened. They requested for Mass to be said in English, so Fr Andrew responded to their urgent faith need, driving from Montreal to Trois-Rivières with a Filipino AoS volunteer in the early hours the next morning to say Mass.
They joined Deacon Paul Racette, AoS Trois-Rivières port chaplain, and four other AoS volunteers at the port. After meeting the captain, chief officer and ship agent, they boarded the ship.
Fr Andrew said, “The captain said it was an unexpected tragic incident which had caused a great deal of distress to the crew members.
“We celebrated Mass and offered counselling. Later, we blessed the ship and shared a meal with the crew,” said Fr Andrew. The AoS team remained on board supporting the men till late in the evening.
Fr Andrew added, “Before we left, the captain expressed a sigh of relief and said the crew were now happy and ready to face the next leg of their voyage. I told him the crew were assured of AoS’ continued prayers and support.”
Through AoS’ global network in Manila, Philippines, Fr Andrew was also able to contact the family of the deceased seafarer, and provide them comfort.
In Canada, AoS has port chaplains in 12 ports to support the faith, pastoral and practical needs of seafarers.