JULY 23, 2012—Quality of life is such an important issue for attracting and retaining seafarers. Often, seafarers can spend months away from their families with little or no contact. What we take for granted on shore—a text, e-mail or simple phone call—is often a rarity for seafarers.
“Seafarers endure long periods of isolation. They are cut off from family and friends and unable to enjoy shore leave,” said Andrew Brown, Smit Lamnalco Group Business Development Manager. Seafarers can be away from home for up to eight months.
That’s why Smit Lamnalco, a leading offshore services company, is donating $100,000—50,000 this year and next—to the Flying Angel, the first purpose-built seafarers support vessel in the world.
Above photo: Theresa Dommett, on behalf of The Angel Appeal and Vivek Seth, Smit Lamnalco Managing Director, Middle East and Indian subcontinent at recent presentation ceremony for Smit Lamnalco's donation
In 2006, the Angel Appeal was created to build and equip a boat to support as many seafarers as they could possibly reach. The M/V Flying Angel was built by Albwardy Marine in Al Jadaf, in under 10 months and at a cost of $1million. The vessel was built through the support of Al Maktoum Foundation, The Nautical Institute, Lamprell, Al Bawardy, International Marine Coatings, Caterpillar, International Transport Federation and Emirates National Bank of Dubai.
The Flying Angel sails out to the Fujairah Anchorage each day to take seafarers onboard. It offers internet and telephone facilities, a welfare officer to listen to and help solve seafarers’ problems, book and DVD libraries, a shop and a place to chat, relax and unwind.
Topaz Energy and Marine manages the vessel and has taken on all running costs of the Flying Angel.
The East Coast of the UAE is the second largest Bunker Anchorage in the world with 150 to 200 ships anchored off shore at any given time. Every year, over 12,500 ships carrying a host of supplies and over 200,000 seafarers anchor off the East Coast waters of the Emirates.
“We are only too happy to help offer them the things that we take for granted,” says Brown. “These can help change their lives at sea. Virtually all imports into the United Arab Emirates come by sea so there is a clear need to support the seafarers who are responsible for bringing these in.”
At a presentation ceremony last week, Vivek Seth, Smit Lamnalco Managing Director, Middle East and Indian subcontinent, said: “Seafarers are the lifeline of any sea borne trade and their wellbeing is imperative. We are glad to be able to contribute to Flying Angel and support such a just cause. ”
Theresa Dommett, on behalf of The Angel Appeal said: “We are delighted to have an established and well-respected partner such as Smit Lamnalco onboard. The Flying Angel costs approximately $1,000 a day to run so we rely on the generosity of sponsors to ensure that the vessel continues to operate smoothly. We are constantly searching for help from other like-minded individuals or organizations.
“Smit Lamnalco’s generosity will obviously go a great way towards meeting the Flying Angel’s operational requirements but also lend further credibility to our cause, and I am confident that this partnership with Smit Lamnalco will be a fulfilling one for all parties involved, especially for the thousands of seafarers that call the waters off Fujairah home.”